L’alimentazione nell’era dei biocarburanti

ROMA – Negli ultimi anni, i biocarburanti sono diventati il pomo della discordia. Per qualche motivo, una fonte di energia rinnovabile prodotta da materiale organico equivale a una bacchetta magica nella lotta contro il cambiamento climatico. Ma altri vedono i biocarburanti come una minaccia esistenziale, dal momento che le piante usate per crearle si contendono il terreno agricolo e l’acqua che in caso contrario sarebbero utilizzati per far crescere gli alimenti. 

Tuttavia si tratta di una falsa dicotomia. La scelta non può essere tra il cibo e il carburante. Possiamo fare buon uso di entrambi. Se sussistono le condizioni giuste, i biocarburanti possono diventare dei mezzi efficienti per aumentare la sicurezza sul cibo fornendo agli agricoltori poveri una fonte di energia sostenibile e conveniente.

In alcuni Paesi dell’Africa senza sbocchi sul mare, la benzina costa tre volte la media globale, rendendo i prezzi del carburante una delle principali barriere alla crescita agricola. Estendere l’uso di biocarburanti in queste regioni potrebbe dare impulso alla produttività e creare nuovi posti di lavoro, specialmente nelle zone rurali. L’effetto può essere anche maggiore se la domanda aggiuntiva di materie prime create da biocarburanti è stata soddisfatta da imprese agricole a conduzione familiare e da produttori su piccola scala.

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