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Foto%20de%20Elaine%20Casap%20en%20Unsplash-a9e57671 Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo - They raise the importance of food security and sovereignty in times of climate change


Publication date:

17 2024 June

They raise the importance of food security and sovereignty in times of climate change

Researchers explain how climate change influences the quality of food within the framework of the Food Safety Symposium, organized by the Area of ​​Basic and Environmental Sciences and the Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCYT)

SANTO DOMINGO. - Guaranteeing the quality of food prior to consumption involves multiple challenges, including food contamination, supply chain, antibiotic resistance and climate change, he stated. Luis Maroto, research teacher of the Instituto Tecnológico de Santo Domingo (INTEC).

In his speech during the Third Food Safety Symposium, organized by the Area of Basic and Environmental Sciences and Ministry of Higher Education, Science and Technology (MESCYT), the teacher of the Biology Block explained that droughts have spread and there is an enormous increase in pests, diseases and soil degradation in many places in the country and the region.

“Among the adaptation strategies in food production is climate-smart agriculture, which is based on the adoption of sustainable agricultural practices that are resilient to climate catastrophes; the genetic improvement of crops for the development of varieties that are more tolerant to drought, resistant to diseases and with greater nutritional contributions,” he suggested in response to the problem.

When talking about the topic in the discussion panel “Climate change and its impact on food security”, Edian Franco, doctor in Biotechnology and panelist, stressed that one of the great challenges is to design a plan for how genetically modified organisms will be used without losing the genetic diversity of the country's native foods, after suggesting designing them for agricultural production.

“One of the challenges that biotechnologists have is to be able to develop crops or develop plantations that are traditional in this region so as not to lose national production. We are an island and, if we do not have food security and sovereignty then our population may be at great risk,” he said.

He also stated that another challenge of implementing these organisms in food production is culture. "When you talk about 'genetically modified,' people immediately understand that it will harm them, although no research so far has shown this to be the case," he said.

Both Maroto and Franco mentioned the importance of emerging technologies for food safety such as digital traceability, analysis of large databases (big data), artificial intelligence and robotics, which transform the way of monitoring and guaranteeing safety. of food throughout the supply chain. These prevent contamination risks, optimize production and distribution processes and respond to incidents that may endanger the health of consumers, as specified by Maroto.

Likewise, the implementation of climate monitoring and forecasting systems to help farmers better anticipate and prepare for extreme climate events, and the diversification of income sources for the resilience of production and food systems.

Maroto explained that food safety is incorporated into the food safety and that, “today if a food it is not harmless, cannot be considered as food, and therefore does not contribute to security", so food security seeks appropriate, adequate and safe nutrition for the population.

Both stated that the role of the government and public policies around the issue of food safety is to establish regulations, encourage innovation, invest in infrastructure and promote collaboration for the development of these research and measures to be taken into account.

About the Food Safety Symposium

The activity carried out in virtual format met the objective of promoting the generation of knowledge and the application of innovative solutions in the field of food safety and quality. It had the participation of representatives of companies in the productive sector, as well as state institutions.

The program began with the conference “Importance of Food Safety for Public Health”, by nutritionist Ninette López, coordinator of the Health and Nutrition project Save The Children. The second conference was given by Ilse García, food engineer, with the topic Allergens in food.

Gaudy Suzaña, chemical engineer, addressed “Effective Communication in Food Safety: Key to action and change.” To conclude, Dr. Miguel Henríquez addressed the “Culture of Food Safety.”

Maroto, the teacher who organized this activity, thanked all the participants and announced that the Area of ​​Basic and Environmental Sciences envisions a great mission: “Know that we are engaged in this task of developing the food safety laboratory to contribute to our country. and our region with innovative research,” he announced.