Over at Culture Matters, there is a very interesting post about the complex interconnections between the impending foodcrisis in Burma and the new interest in biofuels, in this case the bitter biodiesel plant called jatropha. Apparently the Burmese junta has ordered farmers to replace rice with jatropha, resulting in the plant (which is suitable for very arid, desert climates) being cultivated all over the country, even in the fertile delta region.
This is what Australian anthropologist Monique Skidmore had to say in an interview at ABC:
“So people have had to rip up paddy in some places to plant hundreds and hundreds of acres of jatropha and this is a plant that doesn’t grow well, and people do not have the production and distribution facilities to do anything with the product once they get it, and they don’t get much. And of course they’re not being able to cultivate rice in the meantime.
“So it’s an incredibly ridiculous path to embark upon.”
Check it out!