Published on 05/17/01

Korean Ag Delegation Visits UGA CAES

Photo:Brad Haire

Agricultural scientist from Korea learn about Georgia irrigation practices from Kerry Harrison, UGA CAES irrigation engineer.
Five representatives of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea Academy of Agricultural Sciences have spent the past two weeks learning about farm research from University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences specialists in Athens, Griffin and Tifton.

The North Korean delegation hopes to take back advanced food-producing technologies to their country, which has suffered six years of famine.

Asking questions and taking notes, the delegation has been presented poultry, botany, row crop and genetic research by UGA CAES scientists.

Through an interpreter, Kim Sam Ryong, deputy president of the DPRK Academy of Agricultural Sciences, said he hopes to continue relations between the two institutions.

Photo:Brad Haire

Kim Sam Ryong, deputy president of the Academy of Agricultural Sciences in DPRK, inspects a recently irrigated corn field on the UGA CAES Tifton Experiment Station.
"It's because the University of Georgia is one of the biggest state universities in the United States and it is very good in bioengineering and poultry," Ryong said. "Georgia has a lot of achievement in broiler production. Also, you've got pecan trees, which could be similar (to producing) hazelnuts in Korea."

Facing the food shortage back home, the delegation wants to develop hardy, nutritional food varieties, and UGA CAES potato research was high priority for the group.

"We especially enjoy the production of potatoes and sweet potatoes. The Koreans should carry out what we call the Potato Revolution," Ryong said.

Last October, a UGA CAES delegation lead by Gale Buchanan, dean and director of the UGA CAES, visited the Academy of Agricultural Sciences in DPRK.

"The conclusion of the discussions was that if we work together, we can get much benefit for people of both countries. That kind of cooperation was suggested by Gale Buchanan and other members of the delegation," Ryong said.

Armed with agricultural knowledge and plans for future visits back to Georgia, the delegation will return to DPRK Thursday.

Brad Haire is the former news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.