Resilience Through Better Institutions is one of three IFOAM - Organics International projects in DPR Korea.
The intervention began in 2012 under the BOKK I project and was followed by the BOKK II project, which ran until 2019. RBI work focuses on supporting the development of the organic sector in DPR Korea, paying special attention to food and nutrition security and the strengthening of organic agriculture practices.
Unsustainable agricultural practices have led to soil degradation and fertility loss, indicating continually decreases in food production capacity in DPR Korea. This situation is aggravated by a vulnerability to recurrent extreme weather events, particularly floods and droughts.
The 2017 Global Report on Food Crises estimates that 4.4 million people, or 17% of the DPRK’s population, can be classified as IPC/CH Phase 3 or higher (Population in Crisis, Emergency and Famine) while the food insecure population is estimated at 10 million or 39%. Vulnerability to food shock is high and there is an urgent need to enhance resilience and reduce the risk of food crises. Building resilience involves making investments to strengthen the absorptive, adaptive, and transformative capacities of vulnerable populations for coping with and recovering from specific shocks and stressors.
Organic agriculture has considerable potential to contribute to enhanced resilience against food shocks. The multi-faceted environmental and social benefits of organic agricultural systems are long-term and robust.
RBI’s goal has been to make organic agriculture more widely available to local stakeholders in the DPRK, which can be used to increase food and nutrition security.
The RBI project aims to support the DPRK’s organic sector on two levels. First, the project has provided support for organizational development of PIINTEC and strengthened its position as the focal point for the organic sector in the country.
Activities ranged from developing a strategic plan and providing project management training to supporting attendance at policy exchange events. RBI’s second objective has been to provide technical support to local stakeholders on subjects related to organic agriculture conversion.
The main in-country stakeholders are the Organic Agriculture Development Agency (OADA), Organic Agriculture Research Institute (OARI), Pyongyang Vegetables Research Institute (PVRI), and the Ministry of Agriculture (MOA).