Paul Lachine

Le commerce contre la faim

GENEVE – Récemment, l’importante augmentation du prix des denrées alimentaires et l’inquiétude croissante sur le thème de la sécurité alimentaire ont déclenché une anxiété mondiale. Ne pas pouvoir mettre de la nourriture sur la table est une éventualité menaçante pour les parents. Et, parce que les plus pauvres du monde dépensent une plus grande proportion de leur revenu pour la nourriture, ils sont les plus durement touchés, ouvrant la porte au risque d’annuler le progrès de plusieurs années en terme de réduction de la pauvreté.

La nature apparemment inaltérable des facteurs à la source de ces augmentations record des prix agricoles – un enrichissement protéinique du régime alimentaire dans beaucoup de pays, un accroissement démographique, une utilisation plus importante des biocarburants et le changement climatique – laisse penser que les prix élevés sont là pour rester. En l’absence de solutions à la pression de plus en plus forte sur les ressources, la faim et la malnutrition ne pourront qu’augmenter.

Clairement, les investissements dans la production alimentaire doivent être augmentés à moyen et long terme. Cependant, il existe une prescription politique immédiate pour limiter les contraintes d’offre : augmenter le commerce. Cette proposition peut surprendre certains, mais sa logique est simple et irréfutable.

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