The DPRK’s leading livestock farming base in the Sepho area is located on the Sepho plateau covering vast areas of Sepho, Phyonggang and Ichon counties in Kangwon Province.
According to Hwang Min, chairman of the Sepho area animal husbandry economy committee, the area was so barren that it had been forlorn since time immemorial and the name of Sepho derives from the fact that the area has heavy rain and snow and strong wind.
The Korean people including service personnel turned out to carry out the government’s plan to make them well off by transforming the wasteland into a livestock farm.
The reclamation of the plateau which was thought to take 50 years by the existing formula required a fierce fight with nature.
The reclaimers broke the ground in late 2012 when the area had the bitterest cold in 40 years. They applied rational land improvement methods, selected the right soil according to feed grass and created windbreaks with the tree species which suit the features of the area and weather, thus unfolding the 50,000-odd-hectare grassland in less than five years.
They created artificial grass fields at places with the gradients of below 12 along the extensive mountain ranges and natural grassland at places with steeper gradients and built an over 2,000-kilometre-long grazing road. The thoroughfare extending for a total of dozens of kilometres across hillsides is lined with low- and single-storey houses, schools, public service amenities, several livestock farms, an animal husbandry institute and anti-epizootic centre.
Grass fields are well protected from strong wind and heavy rain by hundreds hectares of windbreaks, over 12,600 hectares of forests and drainage. And in the fields grow highly nutritious and high-yielding food crops including Aeguk grass, orchard grass and alfalfa.
There are over 10 reservoirs which store every drop of rain and snow water and can fully ensure the breeding of domestic animals and the irrigation of grass fields in any severe drought.
At present the Sepho area animal husbandry economy committee works to increase livestock production in a sustainable way.
Through the general production control room it monitors and controls in real time the manuring and cultivation of grass fields, the prediction of harmful insects and the domestic animal breeding and anti-epizootic system.
It established the breeding stock production system for breeding more good breeds of domestic animals and introduced the embryo transplantation, artificial fertilization and other techniques to increase the number of such domestic animals as cattle, sheep and goat.
It applies grass field manuring and cultivation methods that suit the Sepho area in order to produce large quantities of food grass every year and develops dozens of kinds of veterinary medicines for the prevention and treatment of domestic animal diseases with local herbs, thereby lowering their death rate.
Wind generators have been installed in different places of the mountainous area, electricity and fuel are supplied by producing methane gas with the excrement of domestic animals and a production cycle has been established to ensure grassland irrigation, hydroponic cultivation in vegetable greenhouses and mushroom, fish and livestock farming all together using methane fermentation liquid and vinasse.
The number of technicians and skilled workers is on the increase thanks to the study-while-you-work system.
The meat and milk produced at the livestock farming base are processed into tasty food at the Phyonggang meat processing factory to be supplied to people across the country.
The locals now say that the original meaning of Sepho has completely changed into grass, meat and milk.