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NK food shortage estimated at 3,500,000-3,800,000 tons next year

NK food shortage estimated at 3,500,000-3,800,000 tons next year

Posted November. 01, 2000 08:11,   


Kim Woon-Keun, chief of the North Korean Agricultural Research Center of the Korea Rural Economy Research Institute, estimated Wednesday that North Korea will suffer food shortage from minimum 3,538,000 tons to maximum 3,860,000 tons next year.

In an international symposium on the exploration of ways for the North Korean agricultural development held at the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Kim said that during the year from 2000 to 2001, the North's total demand for food is estimated at 6,290,000 tons, as against its total production would amount to 2,430,000 tons to 2,750,000 tons.

In view of the international aid and the North's food production, it is expected to see food shortage of 2,010,000 tons on the basis of the World Food Program (WFP)'s recommended amount (daily 700 grams per capita), and 6,000 tons on the basis of the UN-recommended minimum amount (daily 458 grams per capita), he said.

In order to resolve the North's food shortage fundamentally, he asserted, the country should introduce non-state enterprises, such as the settlement of family farming system and permits of independent enterprises and permission of rural industries.

At the symposium, Daud Khan, director for the Asia-Pacific affairs of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), said that the overall food situation in North Korea at the moment has been considerably improved compared with the period between 1996 and 1997. In order to develop rural community, the North will have to invest in the water irrigation works, electric power supply, farming mechanization, livestocks and farmland development. At the same time, investment is required for the training of farmers and agricultural research, he pointed out.

Kim Young-Sik spear@donga.com