News / Asia

North Korea May Allow Farmers to Keep More Produce

North Korean farmers walk past a field on Hwanggumpyong Island, near the town of Sinuiju, March 2, 2012. North Korean farmers walk past a field on Hwanggumpyong Island, near the town of Sinuiju, March 2, 2012.
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North Korean farmers walk past a field on Hwanggumpyong Island, near the town of Sinuiju, March 2, 2012.
North Korean farmers walk past a field on Hwanggumpyong Island, near the town of Sinuiju, March 2, 2012.
VOA News
North Korea may soon allow farmers to keep more of their produce, in a move to increase agricultural production. It would be a major reform by the country's young new leader, Kim Jong Un, who has promised to boost North Korea's ailing economy.

News of the possible plan comes from sources close to North Korea's agricultural sector, who spoke with Western news agencies.

Reports say a major economic announcement is expected Tuesday at a rare meeting of the country's Supreme People's Assembly.  

North Korea is one of the most secretive states in the world - but there is speculation the agricultural reform plan could be announced at that meeting.

Currently farmers in North Korea are required to turn over most of their produce to the state, keeping only what they need for their families.  Reports say under proposed reforms, farmers will be allowed to keep a much larger portion - which they could sell in the market, giving them an incentive to produce more.

North Korea's agricultural sector has struggled to produce enough food for the country's 24 million people.

Mr. Kim took power in December, following the death of his father Kim Jong Il, who tightly ruled the isolated nation for 18 years.
  • A North Korean woman rides a bicycle at Migok Cooperative Farm in Sariwon, North Hwanghae Province, North Korea. The signs read "To fight for harvesting," left, and "To perform patriotism led by Kim Jong Il."
  • Farmer O Yong Ae sits at her home in North Korea. Farmers would be able to keep a bigger share of their crops under proposed changes aiming to boost production by North Korea's collective farms.
  • Ears of field corn lay in piles along a roadside during the autumn corn harvest on a farm in Kaesong, North Korea.
  • The fields of a cooperative farm in Sariwon, North Hwanghae Province, North Korea.
  • The late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il inspects the Hoesang area farm in Hamhung city in South Hamgyong province, North Korea. (Undated file photo released shortly after his death, December 2011)
  • Farmers harvest crops in North Hwanghae Province, North Korea.
  • Bowls of boiled corn and peaches are served as a snack inside a farmhouse at Tongbong cooperative farm in Hamju County, Hamgyong Province, North Korea.

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