Ri Pok Sil (pictured), sub-workteam leader of the Oryu Vegetable Cooperative Farm in Sadong District, Pyongyang, has been engaged in vegetable farming for nearly 50 years.
“I have been spending most of my life in vast vegetable fields. The fields of my sub-workteam, which are permeated with my sweat and efforts, are familiar and precious like my flesh and blood,” said the nearly 70-year-old woman.
Born as the eldest of seven brothers and sisters during the Fatherland Liberation War (1950-1953), she grew up managing the household and taking care of her brothers and sisters in place of her ailing mother when she was young.
After getting married, she began to do farming and learned it steadily.
She dedicated her heart to farming as she came to know that President Kim Il Sung had visited the farm several times to solve the problem of vegetables for Pyongyang citizens and the field in her charge was the one he had visited.
In order to improve soil fertility, she did vegetable farming in a scientific and technological way while applying more manure to the field than others and assiduously learning about vegetable farming.
As she became the model of sub-workteam, workteam and farm since she always took the lead in farming, she became a sub-workteam leader a few years later.
She has put her heart and soul into vegetable production for over 30 years since then. She took the lead in farming in the period of the Arduous March and under unfavourable weather conditions as she took good care of and led sub-workteam members with the mind of being their mother. The land yielded good crops every year for her devotion and sincerity and her sub-workteam became to be known as the best producer in the cooperative farm.
“Although it is a bounden duty for a farmer to do farming properly, the state awarded me a wrist watch bearing the name of President Kim Il Sung and other high official commendations in recognition of my exertion. I was also invited as a delegate to major national celebrations like the meeting to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea and honoured with the title of meritorious person of socialist patriotism. The only way to return the favour is to do vegetable farming well so as to give the country what little help I can give. This is the joy of my life,” said Ri.