N. Korea's grain output gains 7 pct this year


North Korea's grain output probably rose about 7 percent in 2016 from a year earlier, but the reclusive country still faces a food shortage, a report said Wednesday.

The North's total grain production is estimated at 4.81 million tons for this year, compared with 4.5 million tons the previous year, according to the report by the Rural Development Association (RDA).

Despite a pre-summer drought, rice output is estimated to have climbed 10 percent on-year to 2.22 million tons thanks to favorable weather conditions and a lack of flood damage.

Production of corn, potatoes and barley probably increased 4 percent to 10 percent this year, with their output reaching 1.7 million tons, 550,000 tons and 170,000 tons, respectively.

However, output of beans and cereals is estimated to have declined 6 percent on-year to 170,000 tons, hit by dry spells in some areas during the blooming period.

Despite the increase in overall grain production, the communist country is likely to continue to suffer from a food shortage.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and the World Food Programme have estimated North Korea's 2016 food demand at 5.49 million tons, which means North Korea still lacks roughly 690,000 tons of grain.

According to the RDA, North Korea's daily grain consumption stands at approximately 11,000 tons, with the monthly number reaching about 330,000 tons.


Readers choice: TOP-5 articles of the month by UkrAgroConsult