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N. Korea's harvest estimated to come below average, aggravate food shortages: report

10:05 November 09, 2019

SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's crop production this year is estimated to come below average due to unfavorable weather conditions, which is feared to worsen its already serious food shortages, an international organization has said.

"Harvest of the 2019 main season crop is complete (in North Korea) ... Overall, a below-average output is estimated for the 2019 main season crops," according to the November issue of the Crop Monitor Early Warning report by GEOGLAM, a Switzerland-based crop monitoring organization, released on Friday.

"Below-average production is estimated in main cereal producing areas located in the south (the provinces of South and North Hwanghae and South Pyongan, locally knows as the 'Cereal Bowl') due to irregular rainfall and low reservoir levels during the summer," the organization said, adding that given such expectations, "The overall food security situation in 2019/20 is not expected to improve."

North Korea experienced severe droughts throughout the spring and summer seasons. Then in September, it was hit hard by Typhoon Lingling. The organization categorized the impoverished nation as an "early warning country."

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, four out of every 10 North Koreans urgently need food aid, as crop production this year is expected to drop to its lowest level in five years due mainly to drought.

This undated photo, released by North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on Sept. 9, 2019, shows farmers picking up fallen rice at a paddy after the powerful Typhoon Lingling passed through the Korean Peninsula on Sept. 7. (For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution) (Yonhap)

graceoh@yna.co.kr
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