N.Korea Gives Up on Big Collective Farms

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The North Korean regime started to distribute the land of collective farms to households across the reclusive nation. Household farming already started in selected regions several years ago.

A source on Monday said all farms in the country, excluding Sukchon and Nampo in South Pyongan Province were ordered to implement a household farming system in the middle of this month. Land and livestock are being distributed to households.

The new system involves two or three households, or six to seven people, being given a plot of farmland, whereas the collective farming system had 20 to 30 people farming a plot.

"Under the household farming system, families get to keep 50 percent of the harvested crops and hand over 30 percent to the central government and 20 percent to the provincial authorities," the source said. "This has led to increased zeal among farmers."

The regime is buying produce at market rates, which apparently gives farmers some autonomy to sell their crops. The measures signal the first steps of a transformation from a collective to private farming system that is linked to a market economy.