North Korea's rice production is expected to dip 5.6 percent on-year to 1.7 million tons in the 2013-14 harvest year, data by the United Nations showed Tuesday, stoking worries about food shortages in the isolationist nation.
According to the forecast made by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), the communist country's rice output will likely be better than the annual average of 1.6 million tons produced from 2009 through 2011, but still fall short of the 1.8 million tons tallied in the 2012-13 period.
The latest forecast said the country needs a total of 1.9 million tons of rice to better feed its people till the summer of 2014. The total includes grain imports and aid shipments, in addition to agricultural output.
The FAO added that per capita rice consumption for the 2013-14 harvest year will remain unchanged from the year before at 67.2 kilograms.
Meanwhile, the agency said the North is expected to produce 2.3 million tons of corn, with around 300,000 tons to be imported. The total can allow the average North Korean to consume 86 kilograms of the grain.
On pork production, the UN agency predicted output to edge up to 120,000 tons in the cited period vis-a-vis 115,000 tons in the previous year.
Related to the FAO's report, Washington-based Radio Free Asia said the average North Korean's daily consumption of rice and corn is only half of the recommended amount by the UN, a clear indication that people in the impoverished country will continue to suffer from food shortages in the new year