ROME (AP) _ Kosovo faces a long-term food shortage because most of its fields have been destroyed or abandoned and crops have not been harvested or planted, a U.N. agency warned Wednesday.

``Apart from the direct human consequences, the Kosovo crisis has devastated the agricultural and food-processing industries, resulting in a severe reduction in food output, supplies and food availability,'' said the Food and Agriculture Organization.

The Rome-based agency said even if refugees were allowed to return to their homes, ``massive'' international relief assistance would be needed to feed them until their own agricultural production was restored. The FAO said aid would likely be needed for more than one season after refugees returned.

Virtually all of Kosovo's 1998 harvest has been lost, said the FAO, and none of the 1999 spring planting has been carried out.

It also said a huge number of livestock have died due to violence, disease and abandonment, further exacerbating the food shortage.

Refugees leaving Kosovo say farm animals _ as well as dogs and cats _ have been routinely killed by Serb troops.