UN agency head warns of food shortages in Sierra Leone

Up to 40 per cent of farms abandoned in worst Ebola-affected areas

The head of a United Nations agency says up to 40 per cent of farms have been abandoned in areas of Sierra Leone affected the worst by the Ebola outbreak.

Kanayo Nwanze, president of International Fund for Agricultural Development, told a news conference Monday there are already food shortages in Senegal and other countries in West Africa because regional trade has been disrupted.

He said preliminary reports suggest that “trade volume in these markets is half of what it was at this time last year.”

Nwanze said the Rome-based agency believes what needs to be done now to avoid food shortages is to assist farmers in areas not affected by Ebola to produce more food and “move food across into other parts of the region that are not affected.”