North Korea

Overview

Country North Korea Capital : Pyongyang

North Korea occupies the northern portion of the Korean Peninsula and has a population of over 25.4 million.

It is divided from South Korea though a demilitarized zone, established by the terms of the 1953 armistice that ended fighting in the Korean War (1950–53). The demilitarized zone between North and South Korea has become a de facto nature preserve. Since the end of hostilities in 1953 it has lain almost untouched and has reverted to nature to a large extent, making it one of the most pristine undeveloped areas in Asia.

North Korea has a centralized economy, where the state controls all means of production. Little attention was given to agriculture until the 1970s. Despite its policy of self-reliance, North Korea has found it necessary to import essential commodities like fuels and machinery as well as grain.

44-60% of the food energy consumed in North Korea comes from crops that are not native to the region. Most of these plants’ diversity is found elsewhere on the planet.

The Crop Trust has supported 2 projects in North Korea

  1. Maize: The Pyongyang Crop Genetic Resources Institute (PCGRI) of the Academy of Agricultural Science received support to regenerate and characterize 2,520 maize accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 2400 are safety duplicated in the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) and Svalbard Global Seed Vault.
  2. Rice: The Pyongyang Crop Genetic Resources Institute (PCGRI) of the Academy of Agricultural Science received support to regenerate and characterize 3,512 rice accessions with the objective of rescuing threatened diversity and enhancing use of the crops. 3,300 accessions are safety duplicated in the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) and a further 2,400 in the Svalbard Global Seed Vault.