SEOUL, July 9 (UPI) — The ongoing drought in North Korea is having a serious impact on food rations for ordinary citizens, the Food and Agriculture Organization said on Thursday.
The state-sanctioned food supply was significantly reduced in July, from 410 to 310 grams daily per person, a FAO spokeswoman told Voice of America.
South Korean news agency Yonhap reported lower crop yields owing to the drought was the cause of the reductions.
The FAO said North Korean wheat and barley yields were down 26 percent from the previous year, and potato yields were down 24 percent, South Korean news outlet Newsis reported.
A report issued by the FAO in June had said yields from double cropping is expected to decrease, which in turn holds critical consequences for the isolated state.
Although food produced from double or multiple cropping only constitutes 8 percent of North Korea’s grain production, it is an important food source during an annual austerity period that takes place between May and September.
State food rations in North Korea fluctuate from month to month, but the daily average ration for one person has been 390 grams, or 80 grams greater than the new limit for July.
The reduction is an indication the food situation is extremely dire, according to the U.N. organization.
The FAO said it is looking into providing irrigation equipment, drought-resistant crops and fertilizer to North Korea – one of 34 food-deficit countries in the world.