Oct 15, 2014 5:38 PM
African leaders: Ebola could lead to food crisis
The Associated Press
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) Agriculture ministers from West African nations at the center of the Ebola epidemic say only money and global coordination will keep the health care crisis from becoming a food emergency.
In Sierra Leone, where thousands are infected and more than 900 have died, 40 percent of the nation's farmers have abandoned their fields. Agriculture Minister Joseph Sam Sesay says annual economic growth of more than 11 percent has dropped to an expected 3 percent.
Liberia Agriculture Minister Florence Chenoweth says billions of dollars of outside agricultural investment is gone as farming has been decimated.
The officials spoke Wednesday at the World Food Prize Foundation annual meeting in Des Moines where government, academic, corporate, nonprofit agriculture and food experts gather to discuss issues of hunger and boosting agricultural productivity.