Blame it on the weather…

As with the famine that struck the DPRK in the 1990’s, known as the “Arduous March,” the North Korean government is again blaming the weather for the food shortage. 

From Reuters:

North Korea’s farm sector will take a hit due to cold weather and low precipitation this planting season, its official media said on Wednesday, after experts had warned the destitute state could be heading toward famine.

“The current spring weather has a bad effect on agriculture in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea),” its official KCNA news agency reported.

“The abnormal weather has seriously affected the growth of maize crops on a vast acreage of fields, cultivation of rice-seedlings and the striking of roots of rice-seedlings in the west coastal areas, the granary,” KCNA reported. 

From the Associated Press (via the IHT):

North Korea’s average high temperature in May has been about 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) lower than in previous years, with temperatures in northern parts of the nation dipping below the freezing point, the official Korean Central News Agency said.

It is true that the weather is a factor, but these effects can be mitigated by better policy solutions.  Cracking down on local markets and chasing after entrepreneurs certainly does not help either.

According to Glyn Ford, member of the European Parliament:

[T]he Vice-Chair of the State Planning Comission said when I met him, “Agricultural reforms proved better than fertilizer at raising productivity.”

Read the full articles here:
Food-short N.Korea says farms hit by bad weather

North Korea says cold weather seriously affecting farming
Associated Press (via Herald Tribune)


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