Recent improvements in North Korea’s agriculture and animal husbandry sectors make those potential avenues for inter-Korean cooperation, a researcher at the Seoul-based Korea Development Bank said.
Rhee Yoojin, a researcher from the KDB reunification department, on Monday published a report on North Korean development issues, which she expounded upon with NK News. In the paper, Rhee analyzes improvements in those sectors of the North and suggests building a distribution center near Pyongyang as well as infrastructure for autonomous development.
“Development cooperation is a level ahead of commercial cooperation between the South and North,” Rhee argues. She mainly suggests strengthening infrastructure for milk and eggs, which is essential for children and pregnant women.
“North Korea is likely to accept the suggestion of creating a cattle farm, connected to tourism. Milk production is absolutely lacking, and the milk market has not been formed normally.”
She highlighted cooperation on technology, which would be favored by North Korea, as it is one of its main policies for economic development.
As North Koreans’ general income has grown, the new middle class’s need for livestock products has increased substantially: It is projected that 41.6 percent of the population will be undernourished between 2014 to 2016.
“By investing in the husbandry sector, North Korea is trying to satisfy diversified demands from the middle class and provide nutrition for the people,” Rhee told NK News.
Rhee indicated a tendency toward privatization, at least in certain regions, pointing out the “5.30 measures” in 2014 allowing workers’ the autonomous rights to sell products after exceeding their production quotas. This is based on the “6.28 measures” announced in 2012, which differentiated distribution according to individuals’ output, she explained.
This tendency is the same in the husbandry sector.
“One of the policies that has changed in the Kim Jong Un regime is highlighting shared husbandry and individual husbandry as a two-pivot axis,” the report reads.
Now, it is possible to raise cows individually, even though it is still not easy due to the lack of feed, Rhee said, quoting a farmer from North Korea.
“It used to be prohibited to raise cows personally, as it was labeled a means of production like an agriculture implement,” she said.
Rhee analyzes that the framework of nationalized husbandry, established during the Kim Jong Il-era, has supported this tendency.
The Kim Jong Un regime has focused on increasing the livestock population and ensuring feed. Recently, North Korea has been concentrating on building Sepho Tideland Project.
Last January 30, Kim Jong Un published “Let Us Expedite the Construction of the Livestock Breeding Base in the Sepho Area and Bring about a New Turn in Developing Animal Husbandry,” and Prime Minister Park Bong Ju has visited the area four times since January 2014.
Join the influential community of members who rely on NK News original news and in-depth reporting.
Subscribe to read the remaining 448 words of this article.
Featured Image: Workers in a field with a cow - North Korea by Eric Lafforgue on 2009-05-17 10:45:16