Paul Lachine

¿Se pueden estabilizar los precios de los alimentos?

CAMBRIDGE – Bajo el liderazgo del presidente francés Nicolas Sarkozy, el G-20 ha hecho de la volatilidad de los precios de los alimentos una de sus prioridades, y los ministros de agricultura de los Estados miembros se reunieron recientemente en París para encontrar soluciones. No es de extrañar: los precios mundiales de los alimentos alcanzaron máximos históricos a principios de año, lo que hace recordar un pico similar de los precios que se dio en 2008.

En todo el mundo los consumidores se han visto perjudicados, especialmente los pobres, para quienes los alimentos representan una gran parte del presupuesto familiar. El descontento popular debido a los precios de los alimentos ha alimentado la inestabilidad política en algunos países, particularmente en Egipto y Túnez. Incluso los productores agrícolas preferirían cierta estabilidad de los precios a los descontrolados aumentos y caídas de los últimos cinco años.

Los esfuerzos del G-20 culminarán en la Cumbre de Cannes que se llevará a cabo en noviembre. Sin embargo, en lo que se refiere a las políticas específicas, habrá que tener mucha precaución, porque hay una larga historia de medidas orientadas a reducir la volatilidad de los precios de las materias primas que han acabado por ser más perjudiciales que benéficas.

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