North Korea is waging a struggle to boost agricultural production as Central Committee cadres visit several farms in the leading grain-producing region of South Hwanghae Province to examine conditions on the ground and tend to the farms’ needs.

A source in South Hwanghae Province told Daily NK on Friday that the visiting cadres have been “watching over several farms” since July 17 “to protect the fields of South Hwanghae Province, a front-line breadbasket that determines the fate of [North Korean] agriculture, from typhoons, monsoon rains and drought” and to “boost grain production.”

According to the source, North Korea sent the Central Committee cadres to the farms to “thoroughly” prevent damage from rains or other natural disasters this year and boost harvests “under any and all conditions,” with leaders noting how the country was unable to obtain normal grain yields last year due to damage from torrential downpours and typhoons.

The visiting cadres have moved desks into the office of the provincial branch of the ruling party, where they are currently lodging as they tour each and every farm in the province to emphasize to farm managers the “absolute need to hit grain production goals” this year.

Farmer harvest Sariwon
North Korean farmers conducting the fall harvest in Sariwon, North Hwanghae Province. / Image: Rodong Sinmun

The cadres reportedly visited farms damaged last year as well as at-risk farms to provide supplies and take other measures so the farms can take preventative actions, thereby preventing a repeat of last year’s troubles.

“Until the rice ripens this year, the Central Committee cadres must closely examine every plain in the province, including the Jaeryeong Plain, as well as get farms to attain grain production numbers without fail and report the results to the Workers’ Party. So they carry a heavy weight on their shoulders,” the source said. 

In particular, the Central Committee cadres are making efforts to carry out the party’s order to determine if organizations tasked with supporting agricultural villages in the province are functioning properly by examining the units mobilized for the effort, as well as to help farms so that the state can guarantee the provision of agricultural supplies to “to the furthest extent it can” across “all indicators.” 

Accordingly, the cadres are gaining a concrete understanding of how farms are failing to receive chemical fertilizer or pesticides. They are taking active steps to resolve problems, too, according to the source. 

“The Central Committee cadres are reporting everything that happens on the farms to the Workers’ Party every day,” the source explained, adding, “I understand that they will remain in the province, checking on the farms, until this year’s august harvest is completed.”

Please direct any comments or questions about this article to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.
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Jong So Yong is one of Daily NK's freelance reporters. Questions about her articles can be directed to dailynkenglish@uni-media.net.