SEOUL, June 16 (UPI) -- North Korea is struggling to maintain minimum daily rations for its population through its public distribution system.
The state currently distributes 360 grams daily per person, Voice of America reported Thursday.
Pyongyang's official rations were reduced to 370 grams daily per person in April, which is significantly below the U.N.-recommended amount of 600 grams daily per person, and also lower than North Korea's goal of 573 grams daily per person.
The reduced rations began to be implemented in April and have continued to June, according to the Food and Agricultural Organization. That amount is also 12 percent below 2015 ration levels.
The cutbacks may be the result of severe droughts in 2015. Dry weather was blamed for the reduced yields in rice and corn output, according to VOA.
A recent FAO report on North Korea's food supply also stated total food production for 2015 was estimated at 5.42 million tons, down 9 percent from 2014 due to "poor rains and low availabilities of water for irrigation."
Production of rice, a staple grain, was down 26 percent and to compensate for the downturn the state has been relying on soybeans and other drought-resistant "minor crops" as alternative sources of food.
North Korea's food shortage means 694,000 tons of food needs to be provided as aid, the largest donation or import required since 2011, according to the FAO.
About 18 million North Koreans are susceptible to food shortages.