[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
North Korea plans 'agriculture reforms'
Expected farmer incentive plan hopes to boost supplies, help cap rising food prices and ease malnutrition.
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2012 09:41
A move to liberalise agriculture would reverse a 2005 crackdown on private production [Reuters]

North Korea is planning to allow farmers to keep more of their produce in an attempt to boost agricultural output, a source with close ties to Pyongyang and Beijing has said.

The plan hopes to boost supplies, help cap rising food prices and ease malnutrition, according to Reuters news agency.

The move to liberalise agriculture under new leader Kim Jong-un, who took office in December 2011 after the death of his father, would reverse a crackdown on private production that started in 2005.

Under the plan, farmers would have incentive to grow more food.

ON THE BLOGS
Hints of change in North Korea
By Harry Fawcett

A rare second meeting in a year of the rubber-stamp parliament, the Supreme People's Assembly, closed on Tuesday without mention of the reforms, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency. North Korea often delays major announcements.

It came amid talk that the youngest Kim to rule the impoverished North is considering reforms to boost the economy.

"They can keep and sell in the market about 30- 50 per cent of their harvest depending on the region," the source said.

It was impossible to verify the plan independently in North Korea, one of the world's most closed states.

North Korea experienced a devastating famine in the 1990s from which its economy has not recovered, and a third of its population is malnourished, according to UN estimates.

The country needs about five million tonnes of grain and potatoes to feed its people and since the early 1990s its annual harvest has been 3.5-4.7 million tonnes, according to most observers.

Experts in South Korea believe the North desperately needs fertiliser to boost yields.

The country's soil has been degraded by erosion due to poor farming techniques, they say.

357

Source:
Agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Organisation
Featured on Al Jazeera
Muslim volunteers face questioning and threat of arrest, while aid has been disrupted or blocked, charities say.
Six months on, outrage and sorrow over the mass schoolgirl abduction has disappeared - except for families in Nigeria.
ISIL combatants seeking an 'exit strategy' from Mideast conflict need positive reinforcement back home, analysts say.
European nation hit by a wave of Islamophobia as many young fighters join ISIL in Syria and Iraq.
Featured
Lack of child protection laws means abandoned and orphaned kids rely heavily on the care of strangers.
At least 25 tax collectors have been killed since 2012 in Mogadishu, a city awash in weapons and abject poverty.
Since she was 16-years-old, Scottish Nationalist Party's Sturgeon has strove for independence from the UK.
Armed group's ransom success with German hostages marks a re-emergence, as authorities investigate ISIL links.
Western nations are moving into the resource-rich country after decades of disinterest, challenging China's interests.