September 5, 2011


North Korea to rent land in Russia for grain production



In order to address the problem of severe food shortages, North Korea has discussed with authorities of the Amur region in Russia's Far East on leasing land to grow grain and vegetables, a regional official said.


North Korea plans to rent several hundred thousand hectares of land in the Amur region, which has about 200,000 hectares of idle land in regional, municipal or private ownership.


"The North Korean authorities are planning an unprecedented agricultural project - to create a farm in the Far East to grow soy, potatoes, corn and other crops. Everything that Korean citizens need, because the issue of food shortages there are acute from time to time due to land shortages," the official said.


North Korean state media said the country's chronic food problems have been exacerbated by heavy rains in June and July. A tropical storm washed away or inundated 60,000 hectares of land in farm regions.


The initial lease of the land, which is to be auctioned off, amounts to RUB50 (US$1.70) a year per hectare.

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