GLOBAL INFORMATION AND EARLY WARNING SYSTEM ON FOOD AND AGRICULTURE 
WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME 

SPECIAL REPORT

FAO/WFP CROP AND FOOD SUPPLY ASSESSMENT MISSION TO THE DEMOCRATIC PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF KOREA

25 November 1997



 
 
Mission Highlights 
  • Korea DPR faces grim food outlook for 1998 as food production falls for third year running 

  •  
  • Worst drought in decades reduces 1997 maize output to lowest on record. 

  •  
  • Food production will only cover minimum needs for seven months. 

  •  
  • Substantial food imports, including food aid, equivalent to 1.95 million tons needed in 1997/98. 

  •  
  • 1.25 million tons needed as emergency and programme food aid. 

  •  
  • Public Distribution System highly weakened as supplies fall further, raising concerns for vulnerable groups without other means to access food. 

  •  
  • Continued food assistance to children vital to ensure minimum nutritional needs. 

  •  
  • International assistance also vital to help the country find longer term solutions to food security, through provision of essential inputs and sustainable agricultural practices.
 

1. OVERVIEW.

2. THE AGRICULTURE SECTOR.

Undisplayed Graphic
Source: Fertilizer Plants and Agriculture Commission
 
Undisplayed Graphic
Source: Agricultural Commission 1989-1994, Mission Estimates 1995-1997
 
Table 1: Predominant seed types and main characteristics
 
Seed Type  Duration 
days 
Optimum Yield 
Tons/Ha2 
Average yields 
Tons/Ha3 
% of total crop 
area sown. 
Rice 
Pyongyang  180  10  70-80
Hamzu  150-160  5-6  4-5 
Yomzu  135  4-5  3-4  20-30
Pyonbuk  160-170  6-7  4-5 
Other 
Maize 
Hwansong5  110-135  7-8  6.5  55
Unsan  110-135  6-6.5  20
Pyongan  150  10  5-6  15
other  150  10
   

3. PRODUCTION OF CEREALS IN 1997

 

3.1 The 1997 drought and typhoon

Undisplayed Graphic


Undisplayed Graphic
 

3.2 Area cultivated

Table 2 DPRK: Area cultivated of rice and maize by municipality/province in 1997.
 
Locality  Rice  Maize  Total 
Area  %of total  Area  %of total  Area  %of total
Pyongyang  26 302  4.4  16 289  2.3  42 591  3.3
South Pyongan  98 495  16.4  72 208  10.3  170 703  13.1
North Pyongan  104 951  17.5  105 213  15.0  210 164  16.2
Chagang  6 859  1.1  39 915  5.7  46 774  3.6
South Hwangae  150 117  25.0  105 378  15.1  255 495  19.6
North Hwangae  49 852  8.3  85 270  12.2  135 122  10.4
Kangwon  36 208  6.0  41 828  6.0  78 036  6.0
South Hamyong  59 868  10.0  53 212  7.6  113 080  8.7
North Hamyong  22 954  3.8  59 296  8.5  82 250  6.3
Ryangang  1 975  0.3  9 599  1.4  11 574  0.9
Kaesong  12 412  2.1  2 633  0.4  15 045  1.2
Nampo  15 529  2.6  8 640  1.2  24 169  1.9
othera  15 000  2.5  50 000  14.3  115 000  8.8
Total  601 000b  100.0  650 000b  100.0  1 251 000b  100.0
   

3.3 Yields

3.4 Maize production

3.5 Rice production

The estimate of cereal production under the scenarios outlined above is summarised in table 4.
Table 4. Paddy and Maize Production in 1997
 
Crop/Scenario  Area  Estimated Yield  Production
(Hectares)  (Kgs/ha)  (Tons)
Maize 
i) Irrigated no damage  195 000  3 500  682 500
ii) Partially irrigated - some damage  130 000  1 750  227 500
iii) Rainfed - severely damaged  325 000  700  227 500
Total Maize  1 137 500
Paddy/Rice 
i) Irrigated no damage  461 000  4 300  1 982 300
ii) Reduced irrigation - limited yield loss  90 000  3 500  315 000
iii) Reduced irrigation - large yield loss  35 000  2 000  70 000
iv) Reduced irrigation- severe yield loss  15 000  300  4 500
v) Typhoon/tidal wave damage  (10 000)  2 500  (25 000)
Total paddy production  2 346 800
Total rice production a/  1 525 420
Total maize and rice  2 662 920
 

3.6 Other food crops

3.7 Livestock

4. FOOD SUPPLY SITUATION

4.1 Cereal food supply/demand balance: 1997/98

The cereal balance sheet for 1997/98 is shown in Table 5
Table 5. Korea DPR: Cereal balance sheet for 1997/98 (Nov/Oct) (‘000 tons)
 
Total Availability  2 663
Production  2 663
Stock draw-down  0
Total Utilisation  4 614
Food use  3 874
Feed use  300 
Other uses, seed and losses  440
Import requirement  1 951
Commercial imports  700
Pledged food assistancea  241
Uncovered import requirement.  1 010
 

4.2 Need for external food assistance

4.3 Targeted food assistance

Table 6 Korea DPR: Food aid needs for targeted beneficiaries.
 
Type of Assistance  Quantity of Cereals (‘000 tons)  Beneficiaries ( ‘000s)
Nutritional support nurseries, kindergartens (6 years and under)  290  2 630
Pregnant and lactating mothers  25  460
School feeding (7 to 12 years.)  160  2 200
Food for work  320  4 000
Total  795  9 290
 

4.4 Food aid monitoring

5. MEDIUM TO LONG TERM MEASURES.

 
This report is prepared on the responsibility of the FAO and WFP Secretariats with information from official and unofficial sources. Since conditions may change rapidly, please contact the undersigned for further information if required. 
Abdur Rashid  Ms. J. Cheng-Hopkins
Chief, GIEWS FAO  Regional Director, OAP, WFP
Telex 610181 FAOI  Telex: 626675 WFP 1
Fax: 0039-6-5705-4495  Fax: 0039-6-6513-2209 
E-mail:GIEWS1@FAO.ORG  E-Mail: Judy.Cheng-Hopkins@WFP.ORG


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