Sunday, May 31, 2015

Drought-hit North Korea seen able to avoid food crisis

Jack Kim and James Pearson in Reuters: North Korea has updated farming methods and switched crops that could help soften the blow of drought and avert a disastrous food shortage, an aid worker and an analyst said on Sunday, after a U.N. official warned of another "huge food deficit".

Impoverished North Korea, which suffered a deadly famine in the 1990s, has seen international food aid fall sharply because of its restrictions on humanitarian workers and reluctance to allow monitoring of food distribution.

Food supplies had since improved and production has been at the highest levels, resulting in the lowest shortfall last year since the mid-2000s, according to independent South Korean studies. "Supply this year will be even more stable and any shortfall is likely to be met sufficiently by imports," said Kwon Tae-jin of the GSnJ Institute in Seoul, an expert on North Korean agriculture.

"Improvement in the supply of food isn't likely by chance or a temporary situation," he said, crediting an increased allocation of resources in agriculture. Linda Lewis, of the American Friends Service Committee, an NGO running farm projects in North Korea, said she had heard the new farm management system was helping....

A farm in North Korea, shot by Nicor, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

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