Barley sprayed with pesticide Christopher Pillitz/Getty Images

Comment nourrir la planète ?

PRAGUE – La faim est un fléau qui hante l'humanité depuis toujours. Presque chaque grande société a été touchée par la famine : une estimation suggère que la Chine a souffert de la sécheresse ou de la famine induite par les inondations dans au moins une province, presque chaque année depuis 108 avant J.-C. jusqu'à 1911. Pourtant la lutte contre la faim est une bataille que l'humanité pourrait finir par gagner.

Davantage de céréales ont été produites chaque année dans le dernier quart du XXème siècle par rapport à n'importe quelle période précédente et davantage de grain sera récolté cette année par rapport à tout autre époque de l'histoire. Depuis 1992, le nombre de personnes souffrant de la faim dans le monde a chuté de plus de 200 millions, alors même que la population humaine a augmenté de près de deux milliards d'individus.

Mais il reste d'énormes défis à relever. Des aliments nutritifs et abordables sont l'une des principales priorités pour les habitants du monde, où une à neuf personnes ne reçoivent pas assez de nourriture pour être en bonne santé. Avec une population actuelle de 7,3 milliards, qui devrait atteindre 8,5 milliards en 2030 et 9,7 milliards en 2050, la demande alimentaire va augmenter en conséquence. Il y aura non seulement plus de bouches à nourrir, mais davantage de contraintes vont peser sur les approvisionnements alimentaires : conflits, instabilité économique, événements météorologiques extrêmes et changement climatique.

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