, Volume 42, Issue 2, pp 173–190 | Cite as

Biofuels production through food and fodder crops: is it a viable option for sustainable energy security? Reflections from the fields in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh

  • M. Gopinath Reddy
  • B. Suresh Reddy
  • Steven Raj PadakandalaEmail author
Research Paper


With self-sufficiency levels of crude oil being a distant dream and given India’s growing energy demand, biofuels has emerged as an important option for policy makers. This paper reviews the experiences of biofuels’ cultivation and its impact on land use, environment, and livelihoods of rural communities in the light of emergence of jowar and bajra as alternative feedstocks. Empirical data collected during 2013 in the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh is used to analyze the present economics and future implications for success of these crops as viable alternatives. Findings indicate that use of major staple food crops such as jowar and bajra for biofuel production might not be feasible given the economies of scale, even as they would have a lasting impact on the food and fodder security.


Biofuels Energy security Sustainability Clean energy Food security India 


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Copyright information

© Indian Institute of Management Calcutta 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. Gopinath Reddy
    • 1
  • B. Suresh Reddy
    • 1
  • Steven Raj Padakandala
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Division for Sustainable Development Studies (DSDS)Centre for Economic and Social Studies (CESS)HyderabadIndia

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