Building Sustainable Food Systems and Capacity for Organic Agriculture Development

  • BOKK project: field visit
    Field visit in DPRK
  • BOKK project: field visit
    Field visit in DPRK
  • BOKK project: field visit
    Field visit in DPRK


Building sustainable food systems in DPRK through organic knowledge dissemination (BOKK II) 


Implementation time frame: January 2015 – October 2019

Countries where the project is being implemented: Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) 

This is the second project in DPR Korea, the first project was implemented between 2012 - 2015

DPRK's sparse agricultural resources limit agricultural production. Climate, terrain, and soil conditions are not particularly favorable for farming, with a relatively short cropping season. Only about 17% of the total landmass, or approximately 20,000 km2, is arable, of which 14,000 km2 is well suited for cereal cultivation; the major portion of the country is rugged mountain terrain

The project focuses strongly on training and capacity building. The training targets a variety of stakeholders including the partner organization (institutional capacity building), the managers of the model farm (training in organic agriculture practices), stakeholders in the agents of the agriculture knowledge dissemination system (content, tools and methodology to disseminate organic agriculture knowledge) and institutions involved in nutrition education and food management (diversified nutrition). The overall result expected from this action is to have the agricultural and nutritional knowledge dissemination systems promote and disseminate the adoption of diversified organic production and consumption systems more effectively in the DPRK. The target groups of this action are the institutions and persons involved in these dissemination systems, specifically the staff from PIINTEC (Pyongyang International Information Center for New Technology and Economy), agricultural scientists and technical advisers, farm managers and staff from institutions involved in nutritional education and food management. The final beneficiaries will be the farmers and the consumers in DPRK, who will benefit from a more reliable and diversified food supply.

Main objectives of the project

Result 1. Model farm is established and serves as demonstration site for organic practices

Model farms are important tools for the establishment and promotion of organic practices. They serve as research sites and as sites to experiment with organic practices. Furthermore, they provide space for testing and finding solutions as well as for detecting new species, varieties and breeds adapted to the local climate and soil. Model farms additionally facilitate the development of technical solutions to production challenges. Another important function is the utilization of model farms as training sites to disseminate practical knowledge on organic agriculture is. Ultimately, model farms serve as examples to inspire their environment, including other farmers and to increase awareness regarding the potentials to improve agriculture production with sustainable, and highly productive low input methods in the region.

Result 2. PIINTEC’s role as capacity building and networking centre for organic agriculture is strengthened

PIINTEC is performing important tasks for the development of organic agriculture in DPRK, in particular through its role as resource and networking centre, but it is also taking on other roles, e.g. in advocacy. Part of this capacity was built through the BOKK project. The proposed action aims to further strengthen PIINTEC’s role in facilitating organic agriculture development in DPRK by building the capacity and skills of PIINTEC staff and by further supporting the Capacity Building and Networking Center for Organic Agriculture (CBNC), located in PIINTEC’s office. The training of PIINTEC staff will be designed to fit the organizational needs and will include technical organic agriculture and leadership training as well as coaching to build skills related to project management and project design. The capacity building of PIINTEC will also become crucial for the implementation of the proposed activities, as PIINTEC will successively take on more responsibility in the training components of the project.

Result 3. Adoption of organic practices is expanded through technical capacitation of the agents of the agriculture knowledge dissemination system

A number of professionals in the DPRK are equipped with basic knowledge and awareness about organic agriculture. The proposed action aims at expanding the reach and disseminating the knowledge and awareness to a broader group of professions and other stakeholders. This will be realized through an intensive training course for agents of the agriculture knowledge dissemination system and the development of a methodology and materials for repetition of the course. Materials and methodology will be passed on to the trainees as part of the course and a first round of replication will be carried out and technically supported in the framework of the project. After completing this process, the agents are expected to have the necessary knowledge and tools to independently carry out more replications to improve the methodology. The ultimate impact of the technical capacitation along the agriculture knowledge dissemination system will be an increased adoption of organic practices throughout the country.

Result 4. DPRK institutions involved in nutrition education are sensitized to the importance of products of diversified organic production systems (agroforestry, livestock, legumes, fruits and vegetables)

In the frame of this project, sensitisation workshops about diversified nutrition with representatives from ministries that are involved in nutrition education and food management as well as their respective research institutes and academies will be organized. Furthermore, educational materials targeted at the household level will be developed. Due to their particular importance, childcare institutions will receive special attention. Nutrition education should target not only households, but also decision makers who have an impact on the planning of food production. Consequently, elements from nutrition education will also be included into the capacity building activities implemented under Result 2 and Result 3.
While corporate farm production is highly regulated, people and institutions in DPRK have some freedom in what they choose to grow in their home and kitchen gardens. For many people, these gardens are the main source of non-grain foodstuffs. Considering the high relevance of those non-grain foods for peoples’ nutrition, home and kitchen gardens will receive special attention in the nutrition education component and will be a focus in the model farm.

Partners: Pyongyang International Information Center for New Technology and Economy (PIINTEC)

Donor organization: European Union 

Contact person: Alejandro Espinoza – a.espinoza [at]

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