Pyongyang, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, 02 Apr 2014 -- Mr Hiroyuki Konuma, Assistant Director-General and Regional Representative visited the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) from 22 to 25 March 2014. By all accounts the visit was highly successful. The Mission proved to be encouraging and positive, both for the visibility of the in-country response programme as well as for FAO DPRK team spirit. The FAO team in DPRK gained a greater understanding of the importance of FAO’s guidance from the Regional Office in Bangkok, but also how much its work is appreciated by colleagues regionally and globally. Quite often field work is carried out in difficult conditions and outcomes can get lost in translation. But seeing, first-hand, the actual work done at ground level creates a real feel of what is happening locally with our stakeholders. This was apparent as Konuma spent time shaking hands with farmers, discussing their needs over a working lunch at the farm, and engaging in a variety of discussions with FAO staff in the field.
The programme portfolio, activities and delivery by FAO DPRK has been quite substantial despite some resource limitations. FAO DPRK has ten staff members (two international staff, one international consultant and seven national staff) operating under the overall guidance and supervision of the FAO Representative for People’s Republic of China, DPRK and Mongolia, based in Beijing.
In 2012, the FAO team delivered US$ 5.8 million of support to its constituent and US$ 3.9 million in 2013 respectively. During his Mission, Konuma visited cooperative farms, the Academy of Agriculture Science and had meetings with the Deputy Secretary General, National Coordinating Committee (NCC); Vice Minister, Ministry of Agriculture; Vice Minister, Ministry of Land and Environment Protection and other senior officials of the Government. He acknowledged the commitment of the Government of the DPRK to the development of its agriculture sector and also thanked the Government for its cooperation and collaboration with FAO.
The Government of DPRK highly appreciated FAO’s work for extending technical support to the DPRK in improving its agricultural production and productivity, and food security in a cost effective manner. The Deputy Secretary General, NCC said that the FAO team in the DPRK remains a solid pillar behind every success, and has been pivotal in developing a strong collaboration with the government and partners, ensuring efficient delivery, and maintaining high standard technical support.
Self-sufficiency in food production is a national priority of the DPRK, so FAO’s task remains unfinished. There are tremendous challenges ahead to overcome in assisting the country achieve food self-sufficiency. However, the FAO team is confident that this noble goal can be achieved with hard work, enthusiasm and dedication of all stakeholders and resource partners.