N.K.’s grain output expected to drop 200,000 tons this year: researcher

North Korea's grain production is expected to decline about 200,000 tons this year on-year due to a bad weather and the latest flood damage in its northern province, a South Korean researcher said in an interview with a U.S. broadcaster Friday.

"There were earlier predictions that North Korea's food conditions this year would get better than previous years, but recent flood damages in the North Hamkyong Province and a bad weather would rather worsen the North's grain output," Kim Woon-geun, head of the Seoul-based Korean Peninsula Agro-fishery Policy Research Institute (KAPRI), told the Radio Free Asia.

Kim said he expects the North's cereal production would be around 4.3 million tons this year.

The Rural Development Administration in Seoul had estimated the comparable figure at 4.8 million tons in 2014 and 4.5 million tons in 2015.

The estimates are far below 5.8 million tons which international agencies consider necessary to feed the North Korean population, he said.

Privatizing state farms will be the sole solution to the poverty-stricken nation's chronic food shortage, he added.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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