Institute for Far Eastern Studies (IFES)
Since 2003, a comprehensive agricultural management method was piloted in Suan County of North Hwanghae Province. From last year, this method was introduced in other regions to be administered nationwide.
An official from DPRK’s Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection gave an interview with the KCNA on June 17 and “from this year a comprehensive agricultural management method is being introduced in many regions and until now 100,000 jungbo or 991,735,537 square meters of forest area has increased,” he said.
Comprehensive agricultural management method is explained as “a new forestry management method to improve the ecological environment and protection of land as well as cultivate various species of trees in forests and crops, herbs, and grass that combine farming and livestock raising to increase production of lumber, crops, livestock, and mountain fruits.”
In the past, majority of forests were destroyed during the time of extreme food and firewood shortage food. To repair the damage, planting crops in forests became an urgent matter and from 2003, comprehensive agricultural management method was adopted in Suan County of North Hwanghae Province and other areas that had favorable conditions that were environmentally safe and socially beneficial.
According to the Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection, “the survival and growth rate of trees improved drastically as people began to use forest lands more efficiently. In this regard, a national policy for comprehensive agricultural management method was introduced across the country from last year.” Various local organizations were established on the city, state, and county levels of people’s committees as they learned to administer the new comprehensive management method.
A seminar was held in Pyongyang on July 29, 2008 on the topic of comprehensive agricultural management method. This was funded by the Swiss Development Cooperation (SDC). Swiss government at the time was transferring know-how and technology for raising cabbage, corn, and other crops as well as pest control, crop rotation, slope farming, and other related skills.
The KCNA reported that at this event, “various national, regional and global environmental problems were addressed and specific actions were being taken to protect food security and ensure the improvement of people’s lives,” said Choe Sang-ho, director of the Ministry of Land and Environmental Protection.
The news elaborated on the notion and practical necessity for the comprehensive agricultural management method and state policy to promote research and education to develop the slope farming and disseminate the comprehensive agricultural management method and technology development in this area.
The participants at this seminar discussed the need to expand international exchanges to cooperation to strengthen and distribute comprehensive farming management by eco-regions and also visited the pilot unit in Suan County.