Questions were raised about North Korea’s claim that the rice transplant was completed nationwide.

A photo of a North Korean farmer spraying pesticides released by the North Korean media on May 5. (Labor Newspaper-News 1)

North Korea claims to have completed rice cultivation nationwide, but it is reported that work remains incomplete in many areas.

A South Pyongan source told the Daily NK on Wednesday that even 60% of the “basic area” of the country was not seeded.

“We were unable to grow rice properly due to labor shortages due to the COVID-19 epidemic, lack of machinery and pesticides, and drought,” he said.

The basic acreage is the total acreage minus the acreage of wheat, barley, double cropping, and potatoes. It occupies about 60% of the total area. North Korean farmers usually sow the total acreage by the end of June. However, sowing is more likely to have run into problems, given sources saying that farmers were unable to complete sowing even with basic acreage.

The Daily NK reported earlier last month that the country had problems preparing for rice transplants. A farm suffering from a shortage of supplies and machineryAnd authorities are struggling to mobilize the workforce.

According to sources, “unprecedented difficulties” have delayed the development of seed beds and delayed the start of rice transplantation.

“Even the labor force mobilized for the COVID-19 pandemic was inadequate, delaying rice transplants in all regions,” he said.

“The plains, Buntoku, and Sukchon counties, which produce more than 150,000 tons of grain annually, were the latest counties to start rice cultivation in South Pyongan this year,” said sources. The workstation was emptied and the fields were not flooded because the reservoir was depleted due to the drought. “

Even satellite images show that rice transplantation remains incomplete. Analysis of images of five major grain producing areas The plains of North Korea have shown that progress in rice cultivation is significantly behind last year.

The rush of North Korean officials to announce the completion of the rice transplant raises doubts, despite the status quo.

One North Korean defector familiar with North Korea’s agricultural sector said that North Korea was “worried about domestic turmoil if it could end a country suffering from financial difficulties and the spread of COVID-19. So I suggested that I said. Rice transplant.

“People are worried that problems with rice transplants can lead to harvest problems and food shortages,” he added.

In other words, North Korean officials were likely to lie about completing the rice transplant because they were worried about the rattling of the public’s sentiment.

In addition, North Korean defectors said agricultural executives faced criticism or, in severe cases, were dismissed if they failed to finish rice cultivation by the target date.

“For this reason, frontline executives often send false reports to authorities,” he said.

Citing sources, the Daily NK has recently been announced by officials. I was sending false reports about rice transplants Because of concerns about punishment.

Translated by David Black. Edited by Robert Roller.

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