North Korea to rent farm land in Russia’s Far East

Via Ria Novosti, an interesting report that North Korea is planning to rent farm land in Russia’s Far East:

North Korea to rent farm land in Russia's Far East
A delegation from North Korea, which is facing severe food shortages, has held talks with authorities of the Amur region in Russia’s Far East on leasing land to grow vegetables and grain, a regional official said on Thursday.

North Korea plans to rent several hundred thousand hectares of land in the Amur region, which has about 200,000 hectares of idle land in regional, municipal or private ownership.

“The North Korean authorities are planning an unprecedented agricultural project – to create a farm in the Far East to grow soybeans, potatoes, corn and other crops. Everything that Korean citizens need, because the issue of food shortages there are acute from time to time due to land shortages,” the official told RIA Novosti.

North Korean state media said the country’s chronic food problems have been exacerbated by heavy rains in June and July. A tropical storm washed away or inundated 60,000 hectares of land in farm regions.

Amur region minister of foreign economic relations Igor Gorevoi said the land must not be abandoned.

“We are also interested in investment in farm machinery and equipment. Another key condition is that the newly-formed Korean company must be registered in the Amur region, which means tax revenue for the budget,” he said.

The initial lease of the land, which is to be auctioned off, amounts to 50 rubles ($1.70) a year per hectare.

The Korean delegation plans to consider the terms of the lease next week.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, whose country faces increasing international isolation because of its nuclear program, visited Russia in August in his own armored train on a rare foreign trip and had talks with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev. Russia then promised to send 50,000 tons of grain to Pyongyang.

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About This Blog And Its Author
Seeds Of A Revolution is committed to defining the disruptive geopolitics of the global Farms Race.  Due to the convergence of a growing world population, increased water scarcity, and a decrease in arable land & nutrient-rich soil, a spike of international investment interest in agricultural is inevitable and apt to bring a heretofore domestic industry into a truly global realm.  Whether this transition involves global land leases or acquisitions, the fundamental need for food & the protectionist feelings this need can give rise to is highly likely to cause such transactions to move quickly into the geopolitical realm.  It is this disruptive change, and the potential for a global farms race, that Seeds Of A Revolution tracks, analyzes, and forecasts.

Educated at Yale University (Bachelor of Arts - History) and Harvard (Master in Public Policy - International Development), Monty Simus has long held a keen interest in natural resource policy and the geopolitical implications of anticipated stresses in the areas of freshwater scarcity, biodiversity reserves & parks, and farm land.  Monty has lived, worked, and traveled in more than forty countries spanning Africa, China, western Europe, the Middle East, South America, and Southeast & Central Asia, and his personal interests comprise economic development, policy, investment, technology, natural resources, and the environment, with a particular focus on globalization’s impact upon these subject areas.  Monty writes about freshwater scarcity issues at and frontier investment markets at