This study performs a logical demonstration and analysis of the major issues concerning the use of farmland in rural regions of Korea, with the goal of finding implications for the future farmland policy. The launch of the World Trade Order (WTO) regime raises the question of how we can improve agricultural productivity in Korea by ensuring greater efficiency in the use of existing farmland in order to protect the Korean agriculture from the growing encroachment of imported foodstuff. In the meantime, young people continue to leave rural regions, while the remaining population in these regions continues to grow old. In Korea, there has been a sharp clash between those who advocate the preservation of farmland for agricultural use and those who advocate making non-agricultural use of farmland.
A careful survey of the main arguments presented by both sides reveals a number of important flaws, including: the misguided belief that the price of farmland raises production costs (i.e., the land to the tillers principle); the conviction that speculation in rural regions can be solved by limiting land ownership; and the inherent limits of the regulations that apply to the farmland ownership criteria intended to promote and maintain agriculture. Both sides erroneously argue over who should own farmland, when the real question we should pay attention to is how we can use it more efficiently.
There are two main ways to make more efficient use of farmland. One is to increase the agricultural productivity of farmland in order to increase the income of rural households. The other is to devise ways to make appropriate use of marginal farmland. Regarding the former, the government ought to give utmost respect to the autonomously-made decisions of farmers while preparing the right technical and policy environments to support these decisions. Regarding the latter, the government ought to create new institutions tasked with identifying and fostering marginal farmland with significant development potential, and it also needs to invest into the development of the required infrastructure.
농촌지역 토지자원의 효율적 이용에 관한 연구(A study on the efficient use of land in rural regions in Korea)
|Series Title; No||정책연구시리즈 / 95-04|
|Subject Country||South Korea(Asia and Pacific)|
|Subject||Territorial Development < National Land Development|
|Holding||KDI; KDI School|