On October 5, Juche 82 (1993), President Kim Il Sung held talks with a delegation from Kim Il Sung Agricultural Institute in Guinea, concerning the issue of food.
Noting that independence depends on food, Kim Il Sung asked the head of the delegation how many tons of grain Guinea was importing every year.
The latter answered, “400 000 tons.”
Kim Il Sung said: The current price of rice is 250 dollars per ton, so 400 000 tons cost one hundred million dollars.
If Guinea stops buying grain from other countries and solves the food problem by itself, it will be tantamount to earning one hundred million dollars.
He asked the Guinean guest about the area of arable land and the population of Guinea.
The latter answered that the area of arable land was 500 000 hectares, including 50 000 hectares under irrigation, and the population was 6 500 000.
Kim Il Sung said that if the per-capita consumption of food was 300 kilogrammes a year, the amount of food needed for the total population was 2 million tons, and if the per-hectare yield of grain was increased to 10 tons by extending the area of land under cultivation and introducing double-cropping, the annual yield would reach 5 million tons.
He paused for a while calculating, and then said that 5 million tons of grain were worth 1.25 billion dollars, and if the annual yield of grain reached that level, Guinea could become a rich country.
The members of the delegation were delighted to hear this.
Kim Il Sung continued: If you have enough food, you will have nothing to be afraid of. The weather is hot in your country, so clothing is no problem for you. Six metres of cloth will be enough for each person in your country a year.
So, the annual consumption of cloth will be 40 million metres for the total population numbering 6 500 000.
This is not a large amount.
He asked the Korean officials present if they knew how much cotton was needed to make a metre of cloth.
No one knew.
Noting that he was sorry that they didn’t know, Kim Il Sung said that it was 200 grammes.
He then asked the Guinean guest if cotton was cultivated in his country, and said that 50 000 hectares of land would be enough to meet the demand for cotton, and if the per-hectare yield of cotton was estimated at 600 kilogrammes and double-cropping was introduced in the 50 000 hectares, the total yield would reach 60 000 tons, with which to produce 300 million metres of cloth.
He added that the amount of cloth would be more than enough for the total Guinean population.
The head of the Guinean delegation said: “This is truly amazing. You know my country’s situation very well, and you have offered good solutions to the food and clothing problems for our people.
It is a mystery how you do the sums so well in spite of being in your 80s.”
Kim Il Sung said that there was nothing mysterious about it, and that he was accustomed to such a way of calculating as he had used his brains all his life to provide the people with better eating and clothing conditions.
He stressed that one must be good at calculating if he one wants to serve the people.