How Biofuel can Enhance Food Security for the Poor in the Greater Mekong Subregion(GMS


Sununtar Setboonsarng, Southeast Asia Department Asian Development Bank
Asia Clean Energy Forum 2011 20-24 June, 2011, ADB, Philippines

• Opportunities and Challenges of biofuel • Agriculture, Biomass and Climate Change • ADB program and invitation for stakeholder participation

Energy and Food Security
• Energy is essential for economic growth, particularly inclusive growth • Food is foundation of life • Rural population of the GMS face both energy and food insecurity

Opportunities for Biofuel
• Reduction of Green House Gas(GHG) in transport sector • Lower import bill for fossil fuel • New employment opportunity • Higher price for agricultural products for farmers • Trading potentials for inclusive supply chain

• • • • • • • • Higher food price Disproportionate share of benefits Expansion of cropland onto sensitive areas Increased use of agrochemicals Soil degradation Overstress water supply Loss of biodiversity Introduction of GMO

Large-scale Plantation

Current Situation in GMS countries
• Large-scale contract farming by foreign firms • Short-term, high payoff investments by agro-processing plants • Rapid environmental destruction and marginalization of small-scale farmers

Food Insecurity
• 40% of arable land has deteriorated • Water shortage • Climate change is affecting food security

Food or Fuel?

Price Trend of Biofuel and Alternative Energy Sources
US $/unit energy Biofuel

Alternative energy: solar, wind...

Price trend (time)

ADB Policy in Supporting Biofuel
the base crop used is not a food crop; (ii) the land cannot be used for food crops; (iii) the project does not result in deforestation, and (iv) the energy balance is positive

Win-Win Strategy?

Best Candidate: Jathropa

• Intercropping with Jathropa will improve crop yields and socio-economic conditions of the rural poor with increased incomes

Jatropha in Small-scale Integrated System

The Jatropha System
Seeds Oil cake

Bio-jet engine


Jatropha plant Biochar

Branches, twigs Biogas/syngas

Jathropa for Energy and Food Security
• Jathropa oil for farm machinery, transportation, and electricity • Jathropa oil for biodeisel for airline industry
• Jathropa cake (seedcake left after oil extraction) for high grade nitrogen rich organic fertilizer • Jathropa twigs for biochar and biogas • Integrated systems are more resilience to climate change

Biochar for Carbon Sequestration
• Biochar (charcoal from biomass) is produced by baking biomass at about 320-500ºC under low or no oxygen (pyrolysis) • The combustion process releases gas or oil as clean renewable energy.

• Biochar remains stable in soils for hundreds to thousands of years.

FAO (2009)

Effects of Biochar

The Jatropha System
Seeds Oil cake

Bio-jet engine


Jatropha plant Biochar

Branches, twigs Biogas/syngas

• 2011 : Regional Capacity Building Technical Assistance (R-CDTA) to pilot scale up investment programs ($4.6 mil-financed by NDF • 2012: Pipeline project preparatory technical assistant($1.5 mil-finance by Japan Asia Clean Energy Fund) • 2013: Pipeline Regional investment project ($80 mil-ADB and others)

Proposed ADB Program for Bioenergy in the GMS

Proposed R-CDTA on Efficient Utilization of Biomass for Climate-friendly Bioenergy and Food Security Project

Proposed R-CDTA
• Size: $4.6 million

• Expected to be implemented
between July 2011-Dec 2014 • NGOs and Center of Excellences

are invited to participate

Three Pathways
• Converting agricultural and forestry residues to energy and organic fertilizers, including biochar; • Production of liquid biofuels from crops grown in small-scale integrated farming systems and provide market access to certified seeds; and
• Use of improved cook stoves to reduce fuel demand and reduce black carbon emissions

Impact and Outcome
• Impact: Improved use of biomass in the

GMS (focusing on Cambodia, Lao PDR, and Viet Nam)

• Outcome: Efficiently operating pilot

projects in biomass use for scaling up in ensuing regional investment project

Output 1
• Enhanced regional cooperation in bioenergy development to foster and safeguard food security

Output 2
• Pilot-tested climate-friendly biomass investment projects for wider implementation

Output 3
• Enhanced capacity for efficient use of biomass

Output 4
• Development and dissemination of knowledge products

Call for Stakeholder Participation
• Inception Workshop planned for Q3 2011 • Stakeholders participation and decision making • Studies to be prioritized • Activities to be piloted •…

Thank you for your kind attention

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