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Improving lives by solving problems in agriculture and the environment

Partnerships for improving fruit production in DPR Korea

Despite advances in agriculture in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPR Korea), a shortage of fresh produce undermines the population’s nutritional status. Fruit is grown on large state farms and cooperative farms, but pests and diseases reduce yields and quality. CABI is working with key stakeholders in the fruit sector to develop best practice guidelines for fruit integrated pest management.

Project Overview

So, what's the problem

Although agricultural production in DPR Korea has advanced in recent years, the nutritional status of much of the population remains poor: rates of stunting are high and micronutrient deficiencies are of particular concern in children and other vulnerable groups. This is linked to the shortage and seasonal availability of animal products, fruit and vegetables. 

Small amounts of fruit have always been grown on cooperative farms, but most orchards are poorly managed and yields are low. Pests and diseases are rife, and farmers use the few available (hazardous, broad-spectrum) pesticides. Often of low quality, these contribute little to pest control, but damage beneficial insects as well as the wider environment and human health. The high level of damaged fruit causes major storage problems, including early decay and increased mycotoxin levels. 

There is little access to best practice information, and a lack of national guidance on fruit integrated pest management (IPM). Although IPM has been introduced in other crops already by CABI-led projects, innovative ideas to improve the situation in orchards are needed.

What is this project doing?

The project aims to improve fruit productivity and hence nutritional security and resilience in DPR Korea’s fruit production system. We will enhance institutional, technical and networking capacity of stakeholders in the sector so they can develop and implement strategies for sustainable pest management, thus improving fruit production and quality and reducing use of dangerous chemicals. We will be working with staff at one large fruit farm and smaller cooperative farms to develop best practice guidelines for fruit IPM, which will be made available and implemented country-wide. This will anchor fruit IPM within DPR Korea and provide the population with a more stable and evenly distributed fruit supply and better nutrition. 

Developing the guidelines will be facilitated by activities including:

  • training and institutional capacity building
  • developing and validating an IPM strategy for apple production and policy-level measures
  • developing an economically viable, low-technology, environmentally safe and locally adapted Trichogramma mass-production and application system for biological control of the main apple pest


An inception workshop in November 2016 allowed project partners to develop a common understanding of the project, and to begin collating baseline data and preparing key documents, including a yearly plan of operation. 

CABI and Department of Fruit Production representatives carried out a preliminary assessment in South Hamhung Province of the fruit farm at Ryulsong Orchard in Jongpyong County and the co-operative farm Pungyang-ri, as locations for project activities. 

A second inception workshop previewed and collated baseline data and finalized planning documents. A study tour to Qingdao, Shandong Province in China will allow the Korean delegation to learn about current best practices in fruit production and in particular fruit IPM in China. 

Longer-term activities will focus on developing Trichogramma as a component of IPM best practice. This will include identification of the most effective native Trichogramma species against peach moth. A mass-production facility will be established at the large fruit farm and the capacity at the existing Trichogramma production facilities at the county plant protection stations increased.

The team

Project Manager

Staff image of Keith Holmes

Keith Holmes  Integrated Crop Management Advisor

Rue des Grillons 1 CH-2800 Delémont
T +41 (0)32 4214885

Project team

Staff image of Dirk Babendreier

Dirk Babendreier

Integrated Crop Management Advisor

Staff image of Feng Zhang

Feng Zhang

Country Director


  • Democratic People's Republic of Korea


  • Start: 01/10/2016
  • End: 30/09/2020


  • Ministry of Agriculture, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea