North Korea is encouraging its people to breed rabbits for food, the regime's official media reported Wednesday.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency reported that rabbits were "the most economically profitable domestic animals" for the mountainous country's limited arable land.

"Rabbit-breeding farms have been built to rapidly increase parent rabbits which have a high fertility rate, grow fast and produce much meat with less feed," KCNA said. "Rabbits are being raised by collective and widespread methods at factories, enterprises, cooperative farms and schools, to say nothing of stock-breeding farms."

CountryWatch: North Korea

The communist North has been suffering from food shortages since the mid-1990s, when natural disasters and mismanagement devastated its economy and led to a famine estimated to have killed some 2 million people.

The country was hit by heavy floods in July, which are believed to have caused the loss of some 100,000 tons of food, deepening the chronic shortage.

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