Paul Lachine

Más comercio, menos hambre

GINEBRA – La reciente alza marcada de los precios de los alimentos y las crecientes preocupaciones sobre la seguridad alimenticia provocaron ansiedad en todo el mundo. La posibilidad de no poder llevar comida a la mesa llena a los padres de una profunda sensación ominosa. Y, como los más pobres del mundo gastan una proporción cada vez mayor de sus ingresos en alimentos, son los más afectados, lo que plantea el riesgo de que años de progreso en materia de reducir la pobreza puedan revertirse.

Los factores aparentemente inalterables que generan estos aumentos sin precedentes de los precios de los alimentos –un cambio a dietas con mayor contenido de proteínas en muchos países, poblaciones en aumento, un mayor uso de biocombustibles y el cambio climático- sugieren que los precios elevados de los alimentos van a perdurar mucho tiempo. A falta de soluciones que alivien la creciente presión sobre los suministros, el hambre y la desnutrición aumentarán.

Claramente, la inversión en producción de alimentos debe aumentar en el mediano y más largo plazo. Pero existe una receta a la que los líderes pueden apelar hoy que podría contribuir a eliminar los obstáculos del lado de la oferta: más comercio. Esta propuesta puede desconcertar a algunos, pero la lógica es franca e irrefutable.

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