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N. Korea's annual grain production remains at 1970 levels

All Headlines 09:42 November 04, 2012

SEOUL, Nov. 4 (Yonhap) -- North Korea's grain production remains at similar levels to the early-1970s, and the amount of food available per person in the communist nation has dropped 40 percent from four decades ago, data from a U.N. food agency showed Sunday.

North Korea's annual grain production totaled 4.52 million tons in 2010, similar to levels in the early 1970s, according to Food and Agriculture Organization data available on the Web site of Statistics Korea.

North Korea posted 3.58 million tons of grain production in 1961 when international agencies began compiling data on the country. The amount has since remained at between 3 million and 4 million tons before rising to 4.37 million tons in 1969 and 4.49 million tons in 1971.

Grain production in the North peaked in 1993 at 9.13 million tons before falling sharply after the country's founding leader Kim Il-sung died in 1994, and drought and other natural disasters devastated the country.

Production plummeted to 3.8 million tons in 1995 and then to an all-time low of 2.59 million tons the following year.

International food agencies, including the World Food Program, have estimated the North's 2011 grain production at some 4.66 million tons, and this year's production is expected to be less than that of last year.

The amount of food available per person in the impoverished totalitarian nation was tallied at 190 kilograms, about a 40 percent fall from 310 kilograms in 1970. The drop is attributable in part to an increase in the country's population to 24.4 million in 2011 from 14.2 million in 1970.

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