N. Korea’s rice production to rise in 2016: U.N. report

N. Korea’s rice production to rise in 2016: U.N. report

2016/06/04 20:17

SEOUL, June 4 (Yonhap) — North Korea’s rice production this year is expected to rise to 1.6 million tons, a news media report said Saturday, apparently due to favorable weather conditions.

Rice production this year is estimated at 1.6 million tons, an increase from 1.3 million tons from a year earlier, U.S.-based media Voice of America (VOA) said, after quoting a report by the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

“The North’s rice output is expected to be more than 1.6 million tons this year,” Kwon Tae-jin, an expert on the North’s agriculture at the GS&J Institute, was quoted by the VOA as saying. “Weather, water and fertilizers were all well prepared.”

FAO forecast the country will additionally import 100,000 tons of rice this year to secure a total of 1.7 million tons, VOA said.

The agency further estimated the North to produce 2.5 million tons of corn this year, about the same level as last year, it said.



What is the future of agriculture in Vietnam?

Vietnam Needs Independent Farmers’ Associations: Social Commentators


Farmers walk along a rice field in the southern Mekong Delta province of Can Tho in Vietnam, Dec. 10, 2014.

Vietnamese farmers must form independent associations to protect their rights and provide advice for selling their products, rather than be overseen by the Communist government-controlled organizations, according to social commentators.

Le Phu Khai, a retired journalist who works in the Mekong Delta — a major rice-production area — said the members of official farmers’ organizations are Communist Party members who do not have the best interests of agricultural laborers at heart.

“They are the extended hand of the Communist Party to help the party rule the country and control society,” he told RFA’s Vietnamese Service

Khai, who has written a book entitled Mekong Delta: 40 Years On, said Vietnamese farmers need to have their own independent associations to protect their rights, because they have no voice in the production and consumption process. This has created a situation where they do not know how and to whom to sell their products.

Agriculture accounts for 22 percent of Vietnam’s gross domestic product, 30 percent of exports, and 60 percent of employment, according to the World Bank.

Khai also accused the main Vietnam Farmers’ Association headquartered in Hanoi of taking money away from farmers.

“They only try to get money for the government and leave the farmers poor,” he said. “Its president, Truong Thanh Phong, even threatened not to buy rice from farmers. He said he would buy rice at lower prices for storage and sell it at higher prices. Every farmers’ association is rich, while the farmers are poor.”

The Communist government-controlled organization was formed in 1930 and has branches in every province and city.

Social critic Nguyen Quang also urged Vietnam’s 14 million farmers to form their own union. Continue reading