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High gas prices threaten food security in Latin America

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Posted: Friday, July 22, 2022. 4:12 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez: Central and South American countries are grappling with the high costs of fuel as global prices continue to spike.

Protests have erupted in Argentina, Ecuador, and Panama due to the rising prices, CNN reports.

Leaders around the world recognize that when fuel prices increase, the price of everything else including food products is also affected.

In addition, some sectors in the region now require greater amounts of fuel. For example in Ecuador, where bananas are the leading agricultural export, diesel pumps move water in and out of banana plantations — a necessity that has been more urgent as increasingly intense rainfalls hit the country, say analysts.

Raul Villacres of Pulso Bananero, a banana-trade consultancy in Guayaquil, noted that Ecuador’s banana production is down 7% compared to last year, in part due to rising costs of diesel and gasoline.

In April, the World Bank noted that Latin American countries have lost the equivalent of 1.7% of their GDP due to climate-related disasters over the last twenty years and it expects Latin America’s agriculture to be on the line of fire as the planet grows warmer.

 

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