Emerging, and old, dilemmas for food security in Latin America

Published date01 August 2019
Date01 August 2019
Emerging, and old, dilemmas for food security in Latin America
Juan Felipe Espinosa-Cristia
| Jorge Feregrino
| Pablo Isla
Facultad de Economía y Negocios,
Universidad Nacional Andrés Bello, Santiago,
FES Acatlán, UNAM, Mexico City, Mexico
Departamento de Ingeniería Comercial,
Universidad Técnica Federico Santa María,
Valparaíso, Chile
Pablo Isla, Universidad Técnica Federico Santa
María, Valparaíso, Chile.
Email: pablo.isla@usm.cl
Funding information
Juan Espinosa research is funded by
FONDECYT, Grant/Award Number: 1190543;
Doing Laboratory Studies in Chile: Re-engaging
Science in the Making
The present text offers a summary of some of the crucial food security problems in
Latin American (LA) countries. This region, like many others in the globe, confronts
such as food safety difficulties. The summary offers also an analysis of some techno-
logically based solutions for LA food security issues. As a general call, the present
review article calls for a collaborative and transdisciplinary approach to think deeper
about how to solve food security problems, putting the focus on enabling technolo-
gies within a context of social, market, and global trends to achieve food and nutri-
tional security. The review is positioned far from techno-optimisms and, at the same
time, away from purely economic-based solutions. Conversely, this review embraces
the whole complexity that brings economy-nature-technology triad. Embracing such
complex relationships between technology, nature and the socio-economy aspects of
food security LA issues. Such complexity also triggers a need for a solution that con-
siders a renewed approach to sustainability in the whole food value chain from pro-
duction to consumption. Sustainability in the value chain opens up a much-needed
approach to LA food security that broadens, and refresh, our understanding of this
fundamental socio-economic and technical phenomena.
Latin American (LA) countries, as many others in the globe, confront
food security problems. The aim of this article is to review major LA
food security issues and its connection with the changing status of its
related technologies. Although technologies present opportunities to
solve LA food security problems, they also carry the risk of aggravat-
ing disparities between high-income countries and countries where
poverty and hunger permeate huge parts of their population. Technol-
ogy is not a panacea.Technology needs not only to be funded but
also to be accepted and adopted by less developed countries, in order
to cope with food security problems. LA countries need to sort their
food security problems looking for solutions funded, accepted, and
adopted locally from a set of new technologies that are affecting LA
food chains.
In this review, food security is used in close connection with some
problems such as access to food, access to land, access to water, sup-
ply, food crises, Human Rights, famine and starvation, malnutrition,
globalization, rural and urban poverty, health safety, undernutrition,
[and] sovereignty(Dutilleul, 2014). Therefore, this text will be mainly
focus on problems about access to food and any problem related with
food chains that are present in LA countries. Additionally, as it was
defined at the World Food Summit, Food security exists when all
people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient,
safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food prefer-
ences for an active and healthy life(Food and Agriculture Organiza-
tion [FAO], 1996). In consequence, food security is a complex
construct that demands to be analyzed confronting its several edges
and as an integrated whole.
General problems related with LA food security are clearly con-
nected with issues about income gap in food production capacities
and the quality of the expenditure in food that many countries pres-
ented (FAO, 2017). In fact, some less developed LA countries confront
problems about their subsistence agriculture; therefore, they are inca-
pable to self-produce enough food for their familylocal consumption
(Schneider & Cassol, 2014). Second, and equally important, problems
related with huge threats such as climate change are definitely con-
necting microproblem and macroproblem in the field of subsistence
agriculture (Cole, Augustin, Robertson, & Manners, 2018). In conse-
quence, problems about production capacity and the quality of
DOI: 10.1002/pa.1999
J Public Affairs. 2019;19:e1999. wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/pa © 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 1of14

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