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North Korea is expecting 3-ton potato harvest

Dec 22,2008
North Korea is expected to harvest as much as 3 million tons of potatoes next year, a Pyongyang official told Yonhap News Agency yesterday, a significant increase for the nation that suffers from chronic food shortages.

The increase was made possible in large part by support and assistance provided by South Korea, visiting South Korean scholars and agricultural officials noted.

Seoul and Pyongyang have held annual symposiums on agricultural science since 2000, through which South Korean scientists and officials provide agricultural technology and expertise, with a focus on potato farming, they said.

“The potato is fast becoming an alternative staple food amid a worldwide food crisis,” said Lee Yong-beom, a professor from the University of Seoul.

“If North Korea is able to produce and distribute seed potatoes and learn to effectively control harmful insects, it should be able to produce between 3.3 million and 4.25 million tons of potatoes annually,” Lee added.

A North Korean official attending the inter-Korean symposium said his country’s potato harvest was expected to increase from 2 million tons last year to 3 million tons in 2009.

South Korean participants, however, noted the North still remains far from meeting its overall food needs.

Yonhap


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