FILE PHOTO: Various kinds of grains sold in Yanggang Province markets. (Daily NK)

With North Korea entering the harvest season for potatoes, barley and wheat, South Hamgyong Province’s people committee recently held an emergency meeting to discuss state-led purchases of these crops from farms throughout the province. 

A source in the province told Daily NK on Wednesday that the provincial people’s committee gathered officials from the province’s grain and agricultural sectors on June 17 to discuss biannual grain purchasing efforts, telling them that “they must start things off on the right foot.” 

At the meeting, the committee said that in accordance with government orders for provinces to achieve food self-sufficiency through double-cropping, the officials must take the lead in ensuring the biannual grain purchasing efforts go ahead without a hitch.

In particular, the committee said that grain production organizations and grain guidance agencies must move ahead with purchasing activities for potatoes, barley, wheat and other grains during the grain purchasing period of June and July with a view to ensure that the food makes it into the hands of the people. 

The committee told grain distribution-related officials that they should carefully distinguish the best times to harvest potatoes, barley, wheat and early ripening corn, draft detailed plans, and reap the grains as soon as they are ready.

The committee further declared that potatoes, barley and wheat from the auxiliary farms of government agencies and enterprises, supply bases and training fields “would be included in purchase plans and released first to food shops and ration stations for special recipients, as per regulations.”

The committee also said that it would be a good idea to distribute certain crops such as potatoes to the people directly from the farms themselves. 

This is to say, provincial leaders recommended cutting out the process where officials from grain guidance agencies coordinate ahead of time with farms to send harvests to graineries.

The committee also emphasized that officials should continue prioritizing the purchase of rice for the military and other state agencies as part of efforts to achieve the province’s grain-related quotas during the annual grain purchasing period.

“The committee called for officials to start going around the fields now to ascertain the farming and harvesting situation on a monthly basis so they can make detailed plans [for the distribution of the crops],” the source said. 

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Lauler.

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Jong So Yong is one of Daily NK's freelance reporters. Questions about her articles can be directed to