Chicken farmers look North for cheap labor

Joong Ang Daily

Maniker Co., South Korea’s second-largest poultry processor, plans to build chicken farms in North Korea to take advantage of cheaper labor in the communist nation.

Maniker officials will be traveling to the North in the middle of next month to finalize details on building several farms near the border of the two countries, the company said in a statement yesterday. The project will help Maniker lower costs while giving North Korean workers opportunities for increased income and high-protein food, the statement said.

North Korea has shown “a positive reaction” to Maniker’s plan, which has been under discussion since 2002, it added.

During the visit, Maniker executives and North Korean officials will choose the location of the chicken farms between Sariwon, south of the North Korean capital of Pyongyang, and Samilpo, near Mount Geumgang on the east coast, the company said.

Maniker, which trails Halim Co. in the domestic poultry market, plans to initially sell the chickens in South Korea and may eventually sell them in North Korea as well.

The company reported a net loss of 3.4 billion won ($3.6 million) for the three months ended June 30, compared with a profit of 237 million won a year earlier.


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