Ministry of Agriculture to promote smart farming technology exports, nurture young experts
|Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Minister Chung Hwang-keun speaks during a press briefing at the Sejong government complex on Wednesday. Courtesy of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs|
Government to temper commodity price inflation ahead of Chuseok
By Lee Kyung-min
The government will nurture young farmers with ideas for promising growth models, backed by increased financial support, training and education opportunities to advance the traditional industry, the agriculture minister said on Wednesday.
The new policy goals set by Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Chung Hwang-keun will fuel the country’s efforts to export technology-based smart agriculture, the next-generation growth initiative incorporating fully the technological strength of the country with the growing demand from Korean peers. for cooperation in areas such as Korean wave healthy diet and lifestyle, or Hallyu.
In addition to market diversification measures, the ministry will provide greater emergency assistance to farmers and agricultural enterprises facing soaring production costs caused by soaring world prices of major commodities, mainly due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
The government will consider importing essential short-term agricultural products to counter short-term bottlenecks caused by increased demand ahead of the “Chuseok” holiday.
Chuseok is a major mid-autumn harvest festival and a three-day public holiday in South Korea.
“The agricultural sector will be elevated to the next growth engine of the economy,” he said during a press briefing at the Sejong Government Complex, hours before the ministry briefed President Yoon Suk. -yeol of his political directives in Yongsan, Seoul.
“The government will pave the way for young farmers and aspiring farmers to realize growth ideas, as will be facilitated by the continued bottom-up deregulation policy in cooperation with municipal administrative authorities,” Chung said.
The ministry plans to increase exports of key local products to $15 billion ($19 trillion) by 2027 from the current $8.6 billion.
A package of policy assistance measures will be available for young people, encompassing housing, finance, education and training as well as investment in land, equipment and facilities. More suitable measures will be unveiled in September.
Efforts to increase food self-sufficiency, including policies to promote the use of floury rice, also need to be strengthened.
The floury rice was developed by the Ministry-affiliated Rural Development Administration. It is easier to store and more suitable for food processing.
Increased use of the new crop is seen as a better way to reduce wheat imports and help boost the country’s food self-sufficiency needs. The ministry plans to replace up to 10% of imported wheat with floury rice.
In addition, penalties for animal abuse and abandonment will be increased to a level implemented by advanced countries.