Yesterday Dr. C. Jerry Nelson, Professor from the University of Missouri at Columbia, spoke at a forum sponsored by the Korean Economic Institute on Human Security in North Korea. His lecture, entitle "Incipient Transitions in North Korea's Agriculture Sector: Reflections from Farmers," gives observational examples about the agricultural difficulties the DPRK is facing. Dr. Nelson has visited rural farms in North Korea and has talked with local farmers. It is very difficult to gather reliable data from the DPRK, so Dr. Nelson used photos to illustrate the water, energy, fertilizer and machinery challenges. He described North Korean farming as "farming by recipe." On his visits he learned that each farmer is given instructions from the government about how to farm and when to harvest. He could not speak deeply about the politics in North Korea, but he did share that the DPRK government pose a gamut of challenges. In closing, Dr. Nelson said there still is more work to be done.
A portion of the lecture is available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDeYc8SX6OY