Biofuels halt ‘would ease food prices’

A moratorium on grain- and oilseed-based biofuels would help ease soaring grain prices by up to 20% in the next few years, a Washington-based agriculture research group said on Tuesday.

"Our models analysis suggest that if a moratorium on biofuels would be issued in 2008, we could expect a price decline of maize by about

20% and for wheat by about 10% in 2009-10," Reuters reported Joachim von Braun, from the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), as saying.

Biofuel production is seen diverting food crops like corn to make ethanol. It has become a highly divisive issue in the Americas and elsewhere as global food prices continue to rise sharply, sparking unrest in many parts of the developing world.

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