My name is Elly Ahimidiwe and I am an ActionAid Activista from Tanzania campaigning on land rights and food security. This May and June, I have had the opportunity to come here to the UK to participate in the Enough Food For Everyone IF Campaign by highlighting the issue of landgrabbing in Tanzania for the purpose of growing biofuels.
Back in my country I witnessed many families suffering from malnutrition diseases like Kwashiorkor and Marasmus. That they don’t have enough food to feed themselves is made more tragic when you consider that hunger like this is not always caused through drought or poor agricultural practices but often because the land these people have farmed for generations has been taken off them in landgrabs for companies to plant biofuels. I have seen the direct results of these practices and I am in the UK to urge your politicians to act now to change policies that incentivise using farmland to plant crops for fuel instead of crops for food.
The EU has a target of 10% of transport fuels to be met through renewable energy, mainly biofuels, by 2020. This drives multinational corporations to buy farm land in my community and then to use that land to plant biofuels for European instead of food for local people. This target helps create a more unjust world where people suffer from food scarcity, malnutrition, and hunger.
This week I will be taking my experiences to an event organized by the Enough Food For Everyone IF campaign as part of the UK government’s Nutrition For Growth summit. A Recipe For Hunger will bring people together to talk about what causes hunger and malnutrition in developing countries. I will be there to tell the audience that the EU’s biofuels targets are a cause of hunger and malnutrition in my country.