Thu, 13 Mar 2008
Higher food prices are inevitable due to an energy shift from fossil fuels to bioenergy, finance management professor Wibisono Hardjoparnoto said Wednesday.

"Bioenergy efforts will surely touch food issues such as in the case where corn is being used as biofuel," he said.

"This will reduce corn production for food and affect human consumption."

Wibisono, who is also rector of Surabaya University, said the government should consider alternatives to selling subsidized food for bringing down food prices, given the government's limited budget.

"The government should try biotechnology for agriculture and plantations. China, for example, can harvest up to 12 tons of rice per hectare while Indonesian farmers can only produce 4 to 5 tons."

"The government should facilitate and provide funding for biotechnology development."

Without such efforts, Wibisono said, food prices will continue to rise because fuel is also a basic human necessity. (****)



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