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Drought may cut N. Korea's 2015 rice harvest by 12 pct: FAO

All Headlines 11:13 June 20, 2015

SEOUL, June 20 (Yonhap) -- A severe drought may reduce North Korea's rice harvest by 12 percent this year from a year earlier, a report by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the U.N. showed Saturday, warning of the worsening food shortage in the communist country.

The recent FAO report put North Korea's rice production at an estimated 2.3 million tons for this year, compared with the country's rice harvest of 2.6 million tons a year earlier.

The estimated production may be less than the average amount of rice produced annually over the past five years, it added.

About one-fourth of North Korea's total 544,000 hectares of rice paddies are being affected by the drought, the report also noted.

The drought may also eat into the country's production of double crop products, like potato, wheat and barley, according to the report, which put the estimated amount to 277,000 tons this year.

North Korea's North Hwanghae province, which accounts for a majority of crop production, is sustaining severe damage from the drought, the report said.

The North's Korean Central News Agency reported earlier this week that the country has been suffering from the worst drought in 100 years, raising concerns about food shortages.

pbr@yna.co.kr
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