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Biofuel Crops Food Senegal Sustainable development

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Biofuels boost land-grab conflict in Senegal

Getty Images/Danita Delimont

A biofuels project in northern Senegal has triggered violent clashes between villagers, leaving one person dead and two seriously wounded.

A police source says residents of Fanayé village “fought with sticks and machetes” in a disagreement over the project.

Fanayé is in the Senegal River valley, near the Mauritanian border.

African news explained

According to reports, some villagers were angry that thousands of hectares of land had been given to an Italian investor who wants to grow foodcrops for biofuels.

There are fears this could result in the loss of grazing land and lead to the displacement of villagers.

Senegal has in recent years pushed the idea of using its land for biofuel production, with the backing of Brazil and President Abdoulaye Wade.

Biofuel crops often lead to "land-grabbing", says Olivier De Schutter, the UN special rapporteur on the right to food.