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Control de plagas reduce el desperdicio de alimentos: Bayer

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Para enfrentar los desafíos de  alimentación de una población creciente es necesario comprender la manera en la que se producen y consumen los alimentos, así como los factores que merman los volúmenes durante toda la cadena de suministro. Cuidar la sanidad e inocuidad de los espacios y tránsitos de los alimentos es clave para reducir el desperdicio de alimentos.

El hambre es una de las problemáticas más acentuadas en el mundo, y aunque, en teoría, se producen alimentos suficientes para satisfacer las necesidades de toda la población mundial, de la parcela a la mesa de los consumidores, cada año se desperdicia un tercio de los alimentos, de acuerdo con la FAO, lo que equivale a mil 300 millones de toneladas menos .

Las mermas (que pueden darse por plagas, enfermedades, contingencias climatológicas o malas prácticas) impactan a los productores y a la economía. En América Latina se pierden o desperdician hasta 127 millones de toneladas de alimentos al año, y en México se pierde el 37% de los alimentos que se producen, lo que significa 10 millones 431 mil toneladas al año.

Durante el Segundo Simposio de Seguridad en la Cadena Alimentaria: Desafíos y futuro, que se llevó a cabo en la Ciudad de México el 15 de noviembre de 2016 y que por segunda ocasión fue organizado por Bayer, Matías Correch, Responsable de la División Crop Science de Bayer de México, explicó que “Los factores que propician el desperdicio son diversos, y van desde el manejo integral de plagas y enfermedades durante el desarrollo de los cultivos, hasta la recolección, el almacenamiento y la transportación. Por ejemplo, se calcula que del 5 al 10%  de la producción mundial de cereales se pierde cada año por insectos durante su almacenamiento.”

De acuerdo con la Organización Mundial de la Salud, OMS, fomentar prácticas de inocuidad engloba acciones muy concretas en cada paso de la trazabilidad de los alimentos que eviten, además de una oferta reducida por mermas, enfermedades transmitidas por alimentos en descomposición o contaminados.

Y es que simplemente durante el tránsito, transformación y preparación de los alimentos asechan plagas de granos almacenados, como gorgojos y palomillas; moscas, mosquitas; cucarachas, chinches; cochinillas, tijerillas; además de roedores lo cual representa un riesgo cuando éstas buscan alimentarse.

Los padecimientos ocasionados por la ingesta de alimentos insalubres o contaminados afectan a una de cada diez personas en el mundo, es decir, alrededor de 600 millones de personas se ven afectadas, de las cuales, 420 mil mueren debido a la falta de inocuidad alimentaria .

“Las enfermedades ocasionadas por alimentos contaminados pueden ser producidas por bacterias, virus y  parásitos, las cuales muchas veces son transmitidas por plagas, tanto en el campo, como en los almacenes o establecimientos donde se elaboran los alimentos. Por ello, las buenas prácticas en el manejo integrado de plagas, de manera profesional y sustentable adquieren importancia”, sostuvo Emanuele Attanzio, responsable del segmento de negocios Environmental Science de la División Crop Science de Bayer.

De acuerdo con la Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura, FAO, por sus siglas en inglés, las plagas y enfermedades de las plantas tienen repercusiones en la producción de alimentos, pues cada año la producción agrícola mundial se reduce hasta 40% a causa de éstas .

El Manejo Integrado de Plagas (MIP) puede ser definido como la selección, integración e implementación de las estrategias de control de plagas sobre una base de predicciones de las consecuencias económicas, ecológicas y sociológicas, el cual busca minimizar los peligros ocasionados por la presencia de plagas.

“En la etapa de almacenamiento las plagas en granos pueden provocar que se pierda el valor nutricional del grano, o que sean contaminados y proliferen hongos que lleven a la pudrición del mismo. Ejemplos de insectos que pueden abundar durante esta fase son el gorgojo del arroz y del maíz que infestan los cereales, los perforan e insertan sus huevecillos, debido a lo cual los granos tendrán que desecharse”, explicó Correch.

En el caso de plagas urbanas —abundó Emanuele Attanzio— éstas se dividen en cuatro grupos: molestas, venenosas, hematófagas y sanitarias, y pueden ser insectos o roedores que afectan el hábitat humano e incluye a las cucarachas, alacranes, mosquitos, termitas, chinches, entre otros; los cuales pueden contaminar los alimentos si no se les controla oportunamente.

En un afán por evitar la pérdida de alimentos debido a la falta de prácticas en inocuidad alimentaria, Bayer ofrece una gama de soluciones innovadoras para el manejo integral de plagas que buscan conservar los alimentos desde la tierra hasta la mesa con una inversión total del 10% de las ventas para Investigación y Desarrollo de moléculas efectivas y amigables con el medio ambiente y las personas.

Durante el Simposio se abordaron las acciones que Bayer está llevando a cabo para contribuir a la mejora de procesos de la cadena alimentaria a través de soluciones  de vanguardia, asimismo se discutieron temáticas como las tendencias en la industria alimentaria y su impacto en México; prácticas sustentables para el aseguramiento de alimentos; así como el manejo integrado de las plagas desde el enfoque de gestión de las normas de la Iniciativa Global de Inocuidad Alimentaria (GFSI por sus siglas en inglés).

Estas iniciativas forman parte de un amplio catálogo de actividades de Bayer encaminadas a enfrentar los diferentes retos de la sociedad mediante innovación, tecnología y acompañamiento de los diferentes actores para sumar al ideal de que todas las personas logren una vida mejor.

El periodico de Mexico

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