Agriculture development chief: ‘The crisis after Ebola will be a food shortage crisis

Food production structures in many West African countries face the threat of collapse – a consequence of the Ebola epidemic that is also likely to affect Europe, says Kanayo F. Nwanze, President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), in an interview with EurActiv Germany.

Nigerian-born Kanayo F. Nwanze is President of the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), a specialised agency of the United Nations founded in 1977. During his visit to Berlin, Nwanze signed a framework agreement for rural investments, for €400 million, with the German development bank (KfW). He spoke with EurActiv Berlin’s Dario Sarmadi.

Your mission is to improve the lives of farmers in rural areas in developing countries. How are they affected by Ebola?

Ebola, as a disease, is a health issue, first and foremost. But it is beginning to have severe effects on food production in the Ebola-affected countries: Guinea, Sierra Leone and Liberia. Farmers in rural communities are abandoning their fields for fear of contracting the virus – or because of ill-health and death – leaving nobody to farm their land. On top of that, Ebola also affects regional trade.

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