Abundant Potatoes Alleviating Shortages

With the stabilization of food prices in North Korea, which had skyrocketed during the first half of the year, the potato harvest which began at the end of June has been lifting the food burden of the citizens.

A source from North Korea said in a conversation with the Daily NK on the 26th, “In the border regions of North Hamkyung Province the first round of harvesting was successful. Accordingly, the price of new potatoes has fallen below 300 won since mid-July.”

The source added, “In the market in Hyesan, Yangkang Province, potatoes cost 280 won per kilogram. Newly-harvested barley has also been appearing; it’s a huge help to the civilians.”

Until the first week of June, the jangmadang price of potatoes in North Korea was 300 won in Pyongyang, 400 won in Hoiryeong, and 450 won in Chongjin per kilogram.

The source suggested, “No matter what, farming is something that heaven watches over. This year, the potato and barley farming were very successful.”

Regarding the price of rice and corn, the source continued, “In the North Hamkyung and Yangang Provinces, the price of rice is 2,200~2,400 won (per kg) and the price of corn 1,200~1,400 won. Originally, during the collective farm’s harvest distribution in December, 4kg of potato was equivalent to 1kg of corn, so the prices of rice and corn are not actually any more expensive now.”

The source also noted that “Nowadays, the prices of goods have risen, and current food prices may persist until the fall.”

North Korea has been striving to increase its grain harvest, even introducing the slogan, “Let us concentrate our strength on farming this year so that we can pave the way for a powerful socialist nation.”

The source relayed, “Recently, all farmers have been mobilized for the production of alternative fertilizers, and every farm has organized teams to prevent damage by harmful insects.”

Finally, he stated, “At lecture meetings nowadays, the authorities explained that ‘it is ultimately not a shameful thing to meet the challenge of a difficult food situation. We have overcome adversity to protect socialism and now have prepared the foundations for making a new leap towards becoming a powerful nation. This is the most significant achievement of our people under the leadership of the General.”