Analyzing DPRK’s Food Supply and Demand Condition with Food Culture

44 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2023

See all articles by Jangho Choi

Jangho Choi

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy

Bumhwan Kim

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy

Date Written: December 30, 2022

Abstract

Estimation of food supply and demand in North Korea follows the FAO/WFP calorie standard at least 1,640 kcal per person per day. This method is useful in that it can estimate the minimum amount of food shortage for survival but has a limitation in that it does not accurately reflect real life in that it ignores the food culture of North Korean residents. In this study, the amount of food supply and demand in North Korea was estimated by considering the food culture. The amount of food shortage was calculated by the difference between food consumption and supply. For food consumption, South Korea’s food supply and demand tables (1970 and 1990) and North Korean population were used to consider food culture. The amount of food supply considered North Korean food production, imports, and exports. As a result of the estimation, first, when the food shortage in North Korea in 2014 was estimated by reflecting South Korea’s food supply table in 1970, 2,388.4 thousand tons were oversupplied, resulting in a food supply and demand rate of 1.26. Second, assuming that North Korea’s food culture changes similarly to that of South Korea in 1990 due to the spread of marketplaces or the unification of South and North Korea, total food consumption increased by 33.3%, and the food supply and demand rate fell from 1.26 to 0.95. The results of this
study have two implications. First, it is possible that the cereals shortage estimated by FAO/WFP based on the minimum calorie required for survival was overestimated. Second, North Korea’s carbohydrate-oriented food aid does not take North Korea’s food culture into account, so it is necessary to increase support for fish, meat, fruits and vegetables.

Keywords: North Korea Food Security

JEL Classification: O13, P32, Q13

Suggested Citation

Choi, Jangho and Kim, Bumhwan, Analyzing DPRK’s Food Supply and Demand Condition with Food Culture (December 30, 2022). KIEP Research Paper, Working Paper(WP) 22-03, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4531242 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4531242

Jangho Choi (Contact Author)

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy ( email )

[30147] Building C, Sejong National Research Compl
Seoul, 370
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

Bumhwan Kim

Korea Institute for International Economic Policy ( email )

[30147] Building C, Sejong National Research Compl
Seoul, 370
Korea, Republic of (South Korea)

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