- Grasshoppers caught and exported to China as delicacies
- Insects exchanged for everyday goods
- Schools using students top boost income
“There are a lot of grasshoppers in the rice fields," said a Sinuiju source, "and a lot of people are out collecting them. So many so that they're causing a problem with harvesting the rice. Special squads have been set up to crackdown on the activity."
After being caught, the grasshoppers are taken to foreign currency agencies and exchanged for food and everyday essentials. Recently, Chinese traders have been importing North Korean grasshoppers as ingredients in locally made delicacies. Foreign currency agencies have been advertising their purchase of the insects in exchange for essentials.
"School are aware that grasshoppers are a source of income and are getting students to catch and supply them," added the source.
Morning, when there is a lot of dew, is the best time to catch them, the source went on. Unable to fly around they stick to the rice plants stems and the people are out with their nets nabbing as many as possible.
However, with every thrash of the rod to prise off the insects the rice ears are cut or the grains fall off. The collectors pay no heed in their desperation to get their hands on the grasshoppers. The grasshoppers are exchanged via the foreign currency agencies for rice as the deleterious effects of their gathering actually lower the yield.
"However much agricultural work the people do, the ration they receive back is so adequate that collecting grasshoppers is of more practicable value," finished the source.
Translated by Danny Lee