Perspective: A new hope for Africa

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Nature

June 22, 2011

By Lee R. Lynd and Jeremy Woods

It has widely been assumed that increased production of energy from biomass requires a sacrifice in food security, particularly for the world's poor. Yet closer scrutiny suggests that modern bioenergy—in the form of fuel, electricity or heat—could be developed in ways that actually enhance food security.

In Africa, where the incidence of food insecurity is highest, hunger persists because of multiple compounding factors: poverty, poorly developed agricultural infrastructure and support, degraded land and armed conflict. Underlying these factors is a legacy of three decades of neglect for agricultural development in the poorest countries of the world.

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