About a quarter of the North Korean population is dependent on foreign food aid. Apparently agriculture in the north is not improving, as the North Koreans have asked South Korea to increase it's annual shipment of 300,000 tons of fertilizer to 500,000 tons. Refugees from the north report mediocre harvests, as well as theft and mismanagement in the collective farms. Food can now be sold in markets, for whatever price you can get. So farmers are eager to sell as much as they can, sometimes at the expense of what they are supposed to turn over to the government.