Journal of
Ecology and The Natural Environment

  • Abbreviation: J. Ecol. Nat. Environ.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2006-9847
  • DOI: 10.5897/JENE
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 360

Full Length Research Paper

Biofuel potential and land availability: The case of Rufiji District, Tanzania

Simon L. A. Mwansasu*
  • Simon L. A. Mwansasu*
  • Institute of Resource Assessment, University of Dar es Salaam, P O Box 35097, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
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Lars Ove Westerberg
  • Lars Ove Westerberg
  • Department of Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, Stockholm University, SE-106 91 Stockholm, Sweden.
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  •  Received: 21 October 2014
  •  Accepted: 17 November 2014
  •  Published: 30 November 2014


Africa’s attractiveness to potential biofuel investors is based on the assumption that there is plenty of unused land available for investment in different countries of the continent. However, their postulations are not based on any concrete studies on land available at country, regional or local level. This study investigates land availability for potential biofuel investment at the local level, using Rufiji district in Tanzania as a case study. We have analyzed different land cover/land use types and separated them into areas of potential biofuel investment and areas where biofuel investment is not possible by a process of elimination. The results suggest that land available is inadequate to meet the needs of biofuel investors. The land assumed to be unused or underutilized by biofuel investors is either part of the fallow system or used to harvest natural resources and for other traditional uses. Expropriating the assumed idle land will have impact on the livelihoods of the local communities.


Key words: Biofuel investment, land available, Rufiji District.