Antigua warns of food shortage following storm, hopes for international aid

Other News Materials 20 October 2008 04:20 (UTC +04:00)

Agriculture officials say Antigua will face a severe crop shortage that could last into the holiday season - when demand is highest - after Hurricane Omar dumped heavy rain across the island, the Associated Press reported.

Farmers have lost several acres of crops including bananas, tomatoes and yams, and the government says it might be forced to subsidize certain produce to offset a rise in prices.

"It is not a possibility. There is going to be a food shortage," agriculture extension officer Owolabi Elabanjo told The Associated Press.

Hurricane Omar blew north of the island early Thursday as a Category 3 storm, releasing more than 5 inches ( 13 centimeters) of rain.

Officials are still assessing damages, but say up to 12 feet ( 4 meters) of floodwaters were reported in certain areas.