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Quetzal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu May-06-04 03:24 AM
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North Korean Farming Threatens Environment
N. Korean Farming Threatens Environment

BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - North Korean farmers growing crops on mountainsides in a desperate attempt to ease food shortages are devastating the environment and could set the stage for a future hunger crisis, a U.N. World Food Program official said.

Anthony Banbury, Asia regional director for the WFP, said North Koreans in upper parts of the country were cultivating hillsides on a large scale, stripping elevated areas of topsoil and clogging sewage systems in populated areas.

"They're plowing mountains to plant crops - that's a terrible approach to agriculture," he told reporters at The Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand late Tuesday. "All the topsoil gets washed off into cities, fills up sewage systems, leads to flooding."

The erosion of topsoil, which is swept into stream and river beds as well as sewer systems in populated areas, deprives farmers of soil that might otherwise be terraced and cultivated and increases the chances of flooding that "can lead to food insecurity problems.

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