AG 2100: Cooperative Farm & Food Production

  1. Need and Status
    It is estimated that 3.5 million will perish as a result of the extended complex food shortages in North Korea. Several US and other humanitarian officials have predicted that unless the international community continues their relief effort, this could become the worst famine of not only the 20th century, but also the 21st century, with deaths totaling 5 million.

    Likewise, a unique approach is dictated to mobilize the resources and participate in developing peace in this region. We are uniquely positioned to be a major part of accomplishing this task.

    This project actually began unofficially in 1998 on a limited scale in cooperation with an agricultural consultant from Auburn University and a one-year grant from the Southern Baptist Convention. The success of this project opened the door for us to expand this into a model farm project of 100 hectares in the Northeastern corner of the DPRK in 1999 and then expand this one farm into 300 hectares this year.

    We received another year's grant to continue through this growing season; however, the continuation of this project and the development of another more comprehensive farm in the central part of the country are depending on further funding. The DPRK has committed the personnel, land, and government authorizations for us to conduct both farms as soon as funding is available.

  2. Purpose & Objectives
    The purpose of this project is to develop two strategically located cooperative model farms in the DPRK with a 5-year development plan. One would be located in the Northeastern corner in order to demonstrate the limits and capabilities of increasing food production in the more severe environments of this country. The other larger farm would be developed in the central green belt area to utilize more favorable conditions to increase food production. It is intended that provisions of resources and training would reach its maximum in the third year with a decrease and complete phase out by the end of the fifth year. In addition to the above primary purpose the following objectives are included in the plan:

    1. Provide the means and guidance to improve the possibility of self-sufficiency in food production.
    2. Improved relations between our two countries as we interact in training and educational programs.
    3. Help in establishing long-term relationships in a region traditionally closed.
    4. Provide educational opportunities to farmers and their families.
    5. Improve the health of the people.
    6. Promote peace and security in the area.
    7. Research farming techniques that will improve food production in the area.

    Cost to date, we have received $200,000 as seed money, which allowed us to take advantage of an opportunity to start one farm in the Northeast on a limited basis. This allowed us to do our feasibility studies and develop the relationships we needed with the DPRK to progress the comprehensive project.