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Farmers Of Koreas To Cooperate In Rice Farming In North Korea
Farmers from South and North Korea will cooperate for rice farming in the North from this year to help North Korea overcome its chronic shortage of food, a South Korean aid group said April 17.

The project is being initiated by the Korean Foundation for World Aid, which will cooperate with about 6,000 North Koreans at a village in Sukchon, South Pyongan Province, for the endeavor, according to the group.

The two sides will cultivate rice on land of 2.4 million pyeong in the farming district. One pyeong equals 3.3 square meters. "Our officials will visit the North on April 19 to deliver rice seeds and to work out details for the cooperative farming," the group said.

It also plans to send about 10 professional farmers and batches of rice seeds to the North once or twice a month. The foundation sent 540 million won (US$539,460) worth of powdered milk, baby food, running shoes and wheat flour to the North earlier this year.

The aid is part of cooperation efforts in the fields of agriculture, public hygiene and children's nutrition that the foundation and the National Reconciliation Council of North Korea agreed to on Dec. 8.

Another humanitarian aid group said the fertilizer aid provided by the South Korean government this year has been distributed to North Korean farmers for the spring seeding season.

The Good Friends, a Seoul-based aid group, said April 16 that the city of Hoeryong in North Hamgyong Province was given some 150 tons of fertilizer on March 24 from South Korea. Security personnel of the city watched the whole process of transporting and distributing the fertilizer to prevent possible misappropriation and embezzlement, it said.

The group also said it has confirmed the 150,000 tons of fertilizer provided by South Korea was transported to each district overland from five North Korean ports -- Nampho, Haeju, Wonsan, Hungnam and Chongjin.

South Korea sent 150,000 tons of fertilizer to the North from Feb. 28 to April 8 this year so that it could be used for the spring seeding season. In a telegram from its Red Cross on April 7, the North requested 300,000 tons of fertilizer from the South, after expressing its appreciation for the shipment of the 150,000 tons.
MGR Archive 20.4.2006
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Russia Rapan $ 700
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USA Calrose #1 Paddy $480
EU Prices Baldo €660
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