To listen click here
Seoul, May 9 – North Korea’s state media called on farmers to prepare for the rice-planting season in a “watertight” manner on Tuesday, in what appeared to be efforts aimed at increasing grain output to tackle the country’s food shortages.
In an article headlined “Let’s prepare for rice-planting in a watertight (manner)” that appeared on the front page of Rodong Sinmun, the North’s main newspaper, the state media instructed agriculture workers to ramp up efforts for their work, saying each day of the season counts for annual output, reports Yonhap News Agency.
The newspaper carried six more articles on farming on its front page, including those emphasising the importance of technology to enhance agriculture efficiency and mentioning how government ministries are drawing up support measures upon leader Kim Jong-un’s order to bolster state support for farming.
The reports are the latest in Pyongyang’s efforts to raise grain production, as its food situation seems to be worsening amid deepening economic challenges caused by border lockdowns to combat the Covid-19 pandemic and global sanctions on its nuclear and missile programs.
During a key party meeting last year, the North designated grain output increase as its “No. 1” policy goal among 12 major economic priorities for this year.
Kim later reiterated this goal in February while urging all farms across the country to focus on stepping up their grain production and meet their goals for this year “without fail”.
Earlier this week, the Rodong Sinmun also reported that this year’s rice-planting season, which usually ends in mid-June, has been rescheduled to the end of May amid forecasts of abnormal climate conditions in the summer.