Category Archives: Agriculture

A View over the River

The plan to monitor the transport of relief supplies ended at the Yalu, the border river between China and North Korea. We assume that the container with the proven baby food has reached its goal, the area around Yonsa.

Unfortunately, we cannot witness the distribution: After quite some back and forth, we were not given an entry visa. The precise reasons probably have little to do with the current situation and are not clear to me. Therefore, I am somewhat disappointed. I would have liked to explain the correct use of the nutrition on-site: something the recipients always appreciated. I would have liked to tell you about it as well. Now it is up to GAiN Germany to hold negotiations determining if further relief good transports are worthwhile and possible in the future.

I am already in Beijing when I find out that I would not be granted entry. To make the most of the extra time I still travel east to the border: From a reconstructed watch tower close to the Chinese border city of Dandong you have a wonderful view into North Korea: Fields with untiring workers plan ting corn, a couple of oxen or cows pulling a plow, a chugging tractor and a couple of villages in the distance.

Despite the harsh rhetoric in the media, despite the missile tests, it is downright peaceful here, everybody is busy doing their work. In contrast, the Chinese fields spread out behind my back. Close to the city they are covered in plastic or completely covered by green houses. I bless both sides of the river in my mind, I wish the people peace and well-being, that their work would feed them and they would enjoy it.

On a short boat trip on the river I witness Chinese tourists and their reaction to the North Koreans we see on our way: Some of them wave and smile at them, others call out a provocative “Hello” and less friendly words to the opposite bank. I feel like I am in the zoo: Observing North Koreans. I notice that most Chinese hardly know anything about their neighbors. They glance over the border curiously – but seem to have no interest in more.

Fruitful Slopes Again

The food shortage in North Korea made many farmers cultivate even the steepest slopes. The wooded hills were cleared, which increased the risk of erosion and natural disasters. The Swiss Agency for Cooperation and Development (SCD) has also been involved in North Korea for almost 20 years and has recently held review of this time.

Since 2005 SCD has promoted the production of rice, potatoes, grain and berries on slopes together with the government and local partners. Fruit trees and grass strips protect the slopes from erosion. In a very nicely designed brochure, ten of the experts and farmers involved in the project take stock of what they were able to try through active involvement and what they have learned from their mistakes. Their perseverance was worth it. The Ministry of Environment is planning to expand their insights on 400.000 ha (instead of the originally planned 150.000).

I am very pleased with the positive feedbacks, e.g. from Ri Sung Jang, forester in Sariwon, who said, “as people can change, so slopes can be made fruitful again!” The report (in English with loads of beautiful photos) can be found at: http://bit.ly/dezaslope.

Discover North Korea

A small country often mentioned by the mass communication. However, we do not know much about it – the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea – or North Korea. An extraordinary trip in September 2014 will enable you to experience the northern part of the Korean peninsula yourself.

This trip will not answer all your questions about Korea. However, you will have the occasion to know more about the country and its inhabitants. We will not just be travelling through the country as tourists, but we want to know more about the history of the country and the present situation by contacting people, showing us challenging and precious situations, leading us to a better understanding of the Koreans, what we cannot always learn by reading about or by looking at photos.

The programme:

• Entry by Air Koryo from China Exit by train

• Different points of interest and museums in and around the capital of Pyongyang

• Panmunjom and the demilitarized zone between both Koreas (DMZ)

• Kaesong – the ancient capital of the country

• Visit of the east coast and the Diamond Mountains

• Visit of the film festival taking place every second year

• Visit of an agricultural cooperative among the projects guided by the tour guide

September is said to be one of the best months for touring the country. It is the month of harvesting on the fields and in the gardens. After the exit one can spend another few days in the Northeast of China.

Trip Term:
September 19 to 26, 2014 (arrival in/departure from Korea). The trip begins in Peking and ends there, too. From Switzerland it takes us at least 10 days for the whole trip.

Costs:
About 2250 Swiss francs. All included in Korea, flight from Switzerland to Peking and return flight excluded.

Tour Guide and Organisation:
Daniel Gerster, agricultural advisor
Daniel Gerster has been living and working in the country since 2001, with a few interruptions. Therefore he knows the country and the traditions of its inhabitants better than most of the westerners.

Further Information and Enrolment:
dagerster@gmx.ch, +41 (0)79 813 38 50.

Enrolment is possible until July 20, 2014 by the latest.

Hint:
For further information and to make the acquaintance of each other a meeting takes place before the trip. The date and the place are not yet known.Hintergrund 2_2-1000

Concrete Help – support people in North Korea

There are many ways in which you can support the work in North Korea.
Make a donation for the following:

  • warm water collectors for the orphanages and the children‘s hospital in Hamhung
  • A solar-heated greenhouse, a biogas plant, or an energy efficient model house built on Duru Island
  • The next aid shipment for North Korea
  • Grass seeds for pastures
  • measurment equipment for the Renewable Energy Development Center
  • an additional wind turbine
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Our goal is to provide sustainable help that will empower local citizens and show the citizens of North Korea God‘s love.
The unreliable energy supply is a huge problem.  We want to help the people of North Korea in this area. We promote projects that use alternative energy sources or focus on saving energy.
Thank you for your donations, which help provide the rural population of North Korea with electricity and improve their lives.
We greatly appreciate your partnership!

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