According to new information received from inside sources, the authorities have handed down a succession of contradictory orders on civilian use of private plots on hilly land and personal market gardens, confusing households and highlighting the incompetence of rural administration.
A source from Hyesan told Daily NK on the 20th, “Orders on the 13th of last month limited everyone to 10pyeong and said that the remainder would be taken, but that has been changed in less than a month. Now they’re allowing the use of all plots in their existing format, but have told people to give up 30% of the grain produced there.”
On January 29th, Daily NK reported on the original land use decree, noting that the authorities had moved to prohibit farming on hillsides and limit the size of personal market gardens. One square meter is equal to 0.3025pyeong.
“They’ve also told us to plant trees and look after them,” the source added. This also contradicts the original order, which required the surrendering of hillside plots and planting of trees in their place.
Based on the current mixed messages, the source concluded that meaningful agricultural reform along the lines of the much-vaunted ‘June 28th Policy’ is highly unlikely in the coming farming year. According to information received by Daily NK, some farms implemented the June 28th reforms on a pilot basis in 2012, but with limited success.
“Kim Jong Eun is handing down orders with little clue as to how we live," the source pointed out, "so how can they implement agricultural reforms properly? They are inspecting all farm land now in an attempt to estimate the yield for next fall, but people are telling them that corn plots are vegetable gardens, and aren’t registering empty land at all.”