When you ask yourself who holds the keys to world peace, you may not think of farmers. But in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK or North Korea), where bad weather makes crops hard to grow and political isolation makes help hard to come by, a farmer’s success can make a world of difference.
Linda Lewis, director of the American Friends Service Committee’s (AFSC) DPRK program, traveled to North Korea in the wake of political tensions this spring. Hers was the first American group to visit in some time, and our farm partners expressed joy that she still came.
AFSC's Linda Lewis shares photos from the day in May 2013 she spent seeing the sights in Pyongyang, DPRK (North Korea), where people were out rollerblading, playing cards, and boating in the Taedong River.
Five farm managers from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (North Korea) and one U.S. farmer—Don Bustos of AFSC’s New Mexico program—joined AFSC staff and partners in northeast China in August, where they visited research facilities as well as conventional and organic farms to explore sustainable farming techniques that could be adapted on their own farms.
Linda Lewis, AFSC’s country representative for China and the DPRK and Zhang Jin, program assistant for training, coordinated and accompanied the tour.
Given the short growing season in DPRK, farm managers have introduced techniques that help with rice cultivation. These systems of rice intensification are meant to get the most out of each rice seed, increasing yields.
On August 11, 2011, AFSC wrote letter to Kurt Campbell, Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, urging the United States to join the World Food Programme's effort to feed North Koreans as they go through the worst food crisis in the last 15 years. AFSC has a long history of supporting the people of North Korea as they struggle for basic survivial.
To bring together both local knowledge and scientific expertise for better results, AFSC works with both the Academy of Agriculture Science and with four cooperative farms.
AFSC support is based on each farm’s specific location, including key crops, labor force, natural and economic conditions. Farm trials address the immediate need to increase food production and to protect soil fertility.
Who we are
AFSC is a Quaker organization devoted to service, development, and peace programs throughout the world. Our work is based on the belief in the worth of every person, and faith in the power of love to overcome violence and injustice. Learn more
Where we work
AFSC has offices around the world. To see a complete list see the Where We Work page.