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Individual innovation leaves collective farms in the dust

first_img By Choi Song Min – 2015.06.08 3:00pm NewsEconomy Facebook Twitter Despite vowing to make this year one of‘abundant harvests’ as North Korea marks its 70th anniversary of the Workers’ Partyfoundation, the country is facing stumbling blocks in living up to thatpromise. Full mobilization calls of workers and soldiers for agriculturalassistance have failed to draw out greater work capacity from purported‘volunteers’, but sources report a very different picture when it comes toplots allocated to individuals.“On collective farms, where all residentshave been fully mobilized, rice planting, and sowing of corn and potatoes arein full swing,” a source in South Pyongan Province told Daily NK on June 4th.“But those who have been mobilized are working half-halfheartedly, and there areno measures in place against threats of drought, so other than rice paddies,most crops are drying out.” Sources in two other provinces of North Korea reported the same trends, but for their safety Daily NK may not release their locations.She added that as those adhering to thestate’s full-mobilization order are far from diligent about their work and “just trying to get by.” Young students are reportedly working from thewee hours to transport buckets of water to the rice paddies but the overallefforts are far from sufficient to overcome the dry spell wreaking havoc on thecrops. “Most ‘volunteers’ play games or sit in theshade, having a few drinks, when the farm managers are not around,” said thesource. This behavior earns the ire of managers, who threaten to pull mealprovisions for workers or refusing to accept volunteers altogether as a result.However, this is all in stark contrast toindividual plots, the source reported. “On these individual plots, people areusing plastic covers and protecting their crops from drought–a popular methodemployed by most with these swathes of land,” she said. “In each furrow onprivate plots, people have put down plastic with holes in them, which facilitates moisture preservation and reduces the need for weeding.” People are connecting plastic strips thatare roughly 40cm in width to place down in the furrows. Holes are made every35cm and seeds are planted within. The plastic not only helps contain moisture in theground but also raises the ground temperature. This, in turn, improvesthe growth of vegetables and corn, according to the source. While collective farm output lags under“Juche farming,” where problems like equipment shortages are endemic, individual plots teem withactivity, thriving on innovative methods devised by its tenders. “At theend of the day, farming is more effective when there’s a landowner, and peoplegenerally believe now that collective farms aren’t going to yield a goodharvest,” she concluded. News RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR North Korea Market Price Update: June 8, 2021 (Rice and USD Exchange Rate Only) Proposal to shift “general markets” to “specialized markets” finds little support among N. Korean leaderscenter_img US dollar and Chinese reminbi plummet against North Korean won once again Individual innovation leaves collective farms in the dust SHARE News AvatarChoi Song Min News last_img read more