FAO: N. Korea may achieve self-sufficiency in cereals in 2014
According to the FAO’s State of Food Insecurity report, an estimated 7.6 million North Koreans (31 percent of the population) were undernourished in the period 2011-13, down from 9.7 million (40 percent) in 2008-2010. The agency’s March 2014 report on crop prospects and food said that 84 percent of households had “borderline or poor food consumption”.
A key challenge will be to get food produced in the more productive south and west of the country to the north, Konuma said.
“How best can we make sure the food rations will be provided to poor people in those mountain areas? This is one of the most important areas the FAO and WFP joint food security mission will be following up closely and monitoring the situation,” he said.
The FAO will also work with senior officials to increase vegetable, fruit and livestock production, to boost proteins, vitamins and minerals in the country’s diet.
“One suggestion I made is to introduce backyard gardening and school gardening in the northern part of (North) Korea so that even in small yards, backyards of the house, people can grow small amounts of items, of fruits to supplement their diets,” Konuma said. “Our diet is not only calories, but protein is also important, vitamins, minerals... DPRK has to move to diversify its production to livestock, fruit and vegetables.”
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