A New Deal for Poor Farmers

NUEVA YORK—Muchos países pobres que importan alimentos han caído en la desesperación en los últimos meses, a medida que se duplican los precios globales del arroz, el trigo y el maíz. Cientos de millones de pobres, que ya dedican gran parte de su presupuesto diario a comprar comida, están siendo empujados al límite, y los disturbios civiles relacionados con los alimentos van en aumento.

Sin embargo, muchos países pobres pueden cultivar más alimentos ellos mismos, ya que sus agricultores producen muy por debajo de lo que es posible en términos de tecnología. En algunos casos, con las medidas de gobierno adecuadas, podrían duplicar y hasta triplicar la producción de alimentos en apenas unos años.

La idea es básica y bien conocida. La agricultura tradicional utiliza pocos insumos y obtiene bajos rendimientos. Los campesinos pobres usan sus propias semillas de la estación anterior, carecen de fertilizantes, dependen de la lluvia en lugar de la irrigación, y disponen de poca mecanización , si es que no ninguna, excepto el azadón tradicional. Sus campos son pequeños, quizás de una hectárea (2,5 acres) o menos.

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