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Biofuel Hungers Guatemala

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The increased in biofuel demand has sparked hunger across the world. Since United States and Europe enacted laws to increase biofuel production, food production has greatly declined. In Latin America, Africa, and Asia, most agricultural land have been dedicated to biofuel plant cultivation. While American and European governments are struggling to control carbon emission, nevertheless, the laws have increased food shortage.  Guatemala is one of such areas that today suffer from biofuel laws (Rosenthal, p.1).

Subsistence farming in rural Guatemala has been impaired by biofuel production. Most lands have been taken by commercial industries, producing sugar and corn for biofuel. Subsistence farmers in Guatemala have been snatched their land by these multibillion companies. The farmers have no land to till, as a result, corn and egg prices have almost tripled. Malnutrition is eminent in Guatemala (Rosenthal, p.1).

According to Timothy Wise, a Tufts University analyst, Guatemala is “getting hit from both sides of the Atlantic” (Rosenthal, p.1) both in agricultural fields and the consequence markets. Guatemala has a population who heavily rely on corn diet, however, United States biofuel policy have greatly hindered food production.  Guatemala’s vulnerability has been enhanced by its proximity with the United States. Currently, Guatemala heavily relies on imported corn, which has doubled in price since new biofuel laws were enacted. Scarcity in animal feed has also increased the price of eggs and milk.

Suchitepéquez Province, an area which was among the leading corn producers in Guatemala, today, has been completely taken by biofuel sugar investors. Many other corn producing provinces have been occupied by African palm growers. In Guatemala, biofuel investors have come as far as Europe, and many parts of America.  Today, Guatemala families have to spend three-quarters of their income on food. Poverty is gradually increasing in Guatemala evident with high malnutrition rates. Economists, however, believes that under proper implementation, biofuel policy can increase job and food security in Guatemala (Rosenthal, p.1).

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