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Over the past several years, biofuels have become a bone of contention. For some, a renewable energy source produced from organic matter amounts to a magic wand in the fight against climate change. But others view biofuels as an existential threat, because the plants used to create them compete for agricultural land and water that would otherwise be used to grow food.

But this is a false dichotomy. The choice cannot be between food and fuel. We can make good use of both. Given the right conditions, biofuels can be an effective means to increase food security by providing poor farmers with a sustainable and affordable energy source.

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