Chonsam-Ri Cooperative Farm
The Chonsam-ri Cooperative Farm is located in the southwest of North Korea and is one of many cooperative farms open to visitors.
The farm has 500 hectares of farmland, of which 300 hectares are devoted to rice cultivation. In turn, 150 hectares of the paddy field area are ‘double-cropped’ meaning two cultivations of rice can be grown each year.
The Chonsam-ri Cooperative Farm was founded in October 1952 in the midst of the Korean War.
Originally, the area was the site of three villages; it is from this that the village takes its name. ‘Chon’ was the name of the largest village and ‘sam’ is the Korean word for ‘three’.
The farm today is made up of a combination of older Korean-style buildings from when the farm was founded along with more modern socialist-style buildings housing some of the important administration centres on the site.
One of the older buildings now serves as a dedicated library.
At the heart of the farm is a persimmon tree which is notable since, during a visit by Kim Il Sung, he correctly estimated the number of persimmons growing on the tree. Next to the tree is a large mural depicting the President giving guidance to farmers working in the fields.
Visitors to the Chonsam-ri Cooperative Farm will be treated to a guided tour around the farm centre, as well as a visit out to the fields.
You may also get a chance to see the dedicated farm kindergarten, built for the children of farmers, as well as the famous persimmon tree.
With any luck, this visit will give you more of an understanding of how ‘socialist agriculture’ is organised in North Korea, with state-owned Cooperative and Collective farms making up the vast majority of the national agricultural sector.