The Korean government has introduced a number of policies for agriculture in Korea with the goal of enhancing productivity and the income of rural households. The gap between the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors, however, is far from being bridged, with the sense of relative deprivation deepening in rural communities. This study discusses the basic policy that will be needed to revitalize the rural economy in the mid- to long-run, and it reviews possible measures required to that end. Rapid industrialization in Korea has resulted in the radical depletion of the rural population, which has shrunk from 14.42 million in 1970 to 6.79 million in 1989, and the majority of the population remaining in rural towns is made up of elderly people and women. Given the poverty-perpetuating nature of Korea’s agricultural structure, agriculture will continue to see further decline in its competitiveness. Prospects grow even darker as the agricultural market will be forced open up to imported food once the negotiations of the Uruguay Round are over.
In order to ensure the continued development of the agricultural economy and society, it is crucial to increase the income of rural households, to foster the evolution of agriculture into a competitive industry and to improve the living conditions in rural communities. In order to enable Korean farms to compete effectively with foreign producers, the government needs to encourage the professionalization, systematization and expansion of agriculture, while fostering the agricultural produce processing industry and tourism in rural towns in order to increase rural households’ non-agricultural income. As younger generations of farmers continue to leave their towns and move into cities (mainly because of their desire to provide their children with a better education), the government also needs to improve the quality of education and learning in rural schools. In addition, the link between major cities and surrounding rural towns should be strengthened so that rural residents can access and enjoy the convenience of urban amenities and services.
농촌경제사회의 장기전망과 정책방향(Long-term prospects and policy suggestions for the agricultural economy and society in Korea)
[서울] : 한국개발연구원
|Series Title; No||정책연구시리즈 / 91-28|
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Industry and Technology < Agriculture|
|Holding||KDI; KDI School|