Is there Hunger in North-Korea? Possible actions.

Risk of hunger2

These countries are most at risk of

  1. The map shows the countries with a high risk of hunger (the Hunger Index, calculated by the World Economic Forum), from which the WEF has statistics, that is.

The full WEF article is at  Full URL:

For instance North Korea is known to have had very bad harvests for several years resulting in famine suffering and death for hundreds of thousands of people. Their government refuses to confirm anything about that reality for fear it might hurt the glorious image of their ruling elite.

They also refuse most help in the form of food shipments from South Korea or other countries.

2. Maybe the following inventions can help the Korean and other countries PEOPLE to grow their own food in villages and survive. And  according to my friends in Wageningen University, world famous for its agriculture research, food availability is not only a matter of production in an ecology, but also of distribution logistics, where ICT networks can help improve a lot !!


A. “Earthboxes“: Homegrown Vegetables Without A Garden.® 

See: The ultimate growing system: The EarthBox® gardening system! A great value—you name it, you can grow it! Poor soil conditions and small backyards are no match for this patented container gardening system, developed by commercial farmers. Proven in the lab and on the farm, you get “great results no matter what color your thumb is,” because this maintenance-free growing system controls soil conditions, eliminates guesswork, and more than doubles the yield of a conventional garden—with less fertilizer, less water, and virtually no effort. Just add plants, water, and sunlight for an easy garden that requires no digging, no weeding, and no guesswork! Grow tomatoes and other robust vegetables and aromatic herbs in any small space—a balcony, patio, or even rooftops! This revolutionary SIP (Sub-Irrigated Planter) is even ideal for urban garden settings since its compact size allows you to grow healthy, fresh—even organic!—food where it never grew before! Unlike other raised bed gardens and planters, the EarthBox® gardening system is self-watering, sustainable, easily moveable and portable, and can even be used to grow indoors. Now that’s one smart garden!



B. Aquaponics, double loop closed systems, very successfully developed for instance in Amsterdam for “urban farming”, see

Aquaponics is a sustainable, recirculating ecosystem for food production made up of fish, microorganisms and vegetables. The fish feed the plants and the plants clean the water the fish swim in. The system is pretty fragile when you start out, and has to be monitored constantly. The water has to be tested for certain chemicals, for its pH-levels etc.. Small changes to the composition of the water can be deadly. As the ecosystem grows it gets stronger, until it cannot only sustain itself, but also protect itself from external influences. As of August 2012 we have built a number of aquaponic set-ups, including a 4-storey tower (1 fish tank, 3 plant containers). We are monitoring, adjusting, and keeping our fingers crossed that our fish and plants survive and prosper.


The system

An aquaponic system consists of at least one fish tank and one plant container. In the plant container, plants are grown on a layer of expanded clay pebbles. These are bits of clay that are baked at a really high temperature, which means they are full of air and let through lots of oxygen – more than regular soil. This is good for the plant roots. After a while the roots, bacteria and worms (that live in the layer of clay pebbles) start to form a complex ecosystem. Fish are kept in another container. Water from this container is pumped into the layer of pebbles at regular intervals. The water feeds the plants. The bacteria and the plant roots work as a filter: they clean the water, which is then released back into the fish tank. We feed the fish with the gluttonous, fast-growing larvae of the black soldier fly (hermetia illucens) found near the neighborhood trash. Result: happy fish and organic plants.

Erik Cecil (<erik.cecil@> ) wrote to me: “Tilapia feed plants, breed like mad, mature in 8 months or so; you can also grow duckweed to feed tilapia, plants clean water – no discharge it’s a closed system.  10x protein and veg per acre.  Fish protein much more efficient because they live in zero gravity environment.    No fertilizer.  Use 10% of water.   Several companies making huge progress in this area.  I’m working with a company in Canada deploying commercial scale systems.  I run a little system at home off a 75 gallon tank – beautiful green peppers and strawberries so far.  Fish love it because the cycles also aerate the water.  You can put red wiggler worms in the grow beds to eat the dead plant roots etc.  it is incredible how efficient the systems can be.  I have some data somewhere and will share with any interested”.


C. Everything you need for a mini-farm is included in    Full URL:

Farm from a box

D. Another upcoming variant are big concrete circulating ponds with algae, fed with pig poop. The grown algae (full of Omega-3 oils, ((that is where fish get their O-3))) are then fed to pigs which thrive on it.

E. Water purification to get safe water for drinking and cooking is also something which can be supported bottom up : see using the Nasava Water Filters, very successful in Indonesia.

F. General remark about bottom-up food production

Tuin bouw


This is not my field of knowledge but these 3 idea’s may set you on your own journey of exploration and experimentation in the fields that give fruitful results for the hungry and you !!!

jaap van till, theConnectivist





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