20 April 1999
Kosovo crisis wrecks farming

THE Kosovo crisis has wreaked havoc on agricultural production in the region and is causing problems for European food supplies, according to the Financial Times.

Kosovos wheat crop, which usually amounts to about 300,000 tonnes, has been missed, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO).

About 100,000ha (247,096 acres) of the regions maize, 25,000ha (61,774 acres) of vegetables and 30,000ha (74,128 acres) of other crops have also been lost.

Nato bombing has disrupted the trade in frozen raspberries in Serbia, one of the key producing regions for Europe. Fruit traders expect to see prices jump.

The FAO reports a large amount of agricultural equipment destroyed as well as “huge losses” of livestock.

The newspaper says that Serbias farmers have already resorted to horse-drawn ploughs faced by a shortage of fuel.

The destruction of a petrochemicals complex in Pancevo, which made fertilisers, will have added to the countrys problems.