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North Korea expects to lease over 10 thousand hectares of Russian land

North Korea expects to lease over 10 thousand hectares of land in the Khabarovsk Territory for growing vegetables, raising livestock and setting up processing enterprises, said GoMen Hee, Deputy Minister of Agriculture of the DPRK.

“On the Russian side, we would like to lease more than 10 thousand hectares, on the Korean side - to provide labor and equipment,” she said on Friday at a meeting with Deputy Chairman of the Khabarovsk Territory Government Alexander Yats.

The Deputy Minister stressed that the agreements on cooperation in agriculture were reached in October this year during the visit to Russia of the Foreign Minister of the DPRK, Lee Su-Yen, and his talks with Russian ministers and governors of several regions of the Far East. Then the parties agreed to hold meetings between the profile ministries with the elaboration of specific projects.

In Khabarovsk Krai, the delegation headed by Go Men Hui will stay until 17 November, during the visit a visit to a number of agricultural enterprises and food industry enterprises is planned.

The Deputy Minister stressed that in Khabarovsk Krai they are interested in prospects in the production of grain, vegetable growing, livestock and in the fish complex.

"In particular, we are interested in such issues as climatic conditions in the region, soil condition, forms of growing crops, yield and cost of production. We could rent land, as well as create joint ventures," she said.

For his part, A. Yats said that in the province in recent years the construction of greenhouse complexes began, there are projects for the creation of livestock complexes, in which North Korea could also take part. With regard to the involvement of unused agricultural lands in the turnover, according to the official, programs for land reclamation and fertility improvement financed from the federal and regional budgets can help in this.

According to the representative of the Ministry of Property Relations of the region, in the southern regions of the province, where the main enterprises of the industry are concentrated, it is possible to provide plots of 1,5 thousand to 3 thousand hectares. In turn, the head of the Verkhnebureinsky district Petr Titkov informed the North Korean delegation that in his area, after the domestic agricultural enterprises were closed, 7,2 thousand hectares, including 1,2 thousand arable land, are not cultivated.

"The Verkhnebureinsky region has experience of working with workers from the DPRK. From 1967 to 1995, within the framework of a government agreement between the USSR and the DPRK, workers from North Korea were logging in the region, and many logging enterprises had their own subsidiary plots," Titkov said ...

At the end of the meeting, A. Yats told reporters that the region counts not only on the provision of land for rent and the attraction of additional workforce from the DPRK, but also on direct investment at the expense of the North Korean loan from Qatar in the amount of 600 million dollars.

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