Comida para todos

LONDRES – Como en el último decenio los precios de los alimentos se han duplicado, la seguridad alimentaría vuelve a figurar en los programas internacionales. ¿Cómo puede el mundo producir más para alimentar a los próximos mil millones de personas? ¿Cómo se puede aumentar la producción agrícola? ¿Cuál es la forma mejor de desarrollar la acuicultura?

Lamentablemente, al centrarse la atención así en el aspecto de la oferta, se pasa por alto la mitad del problema. El mundo produce ya más del doble de las calorías que la población humana necesita. Se calcula que un tercio de la producción mundial de alimentos se desperdicia. En los países pobres, la pérdida de alimentos se debe al almacenamiento inadecuado y a las lagunas en la cadena de suministro (por ejemplo, falta de refrigeración); en los países ricos, también se desperdician alimentos en la cadena de suministro y los consumidores tiran mucha comida a la basura.

Además, en muchos casos lo que provoca el hambre y la deficiencia nutricional es la pobreza y no la falta de alimentos en el mercado. Millones de personas carecen, sencillamente, de medios para comprar los alimentos que necesitan, situación que seguiría existiendo, aunque se aumentara la oferta. Solucionar el problema de la demanda para que los pobres cuenten con alimentos nutritivos –en particular, las madres y los niños más vulnerables– es uno de los imperativos más apremiantes en materia de seguridad alimentaría.

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