In accordance with its agricultural development policy, the government established the Rural Development Administration to promote agriculture and to ensure the prosperity of rural villages. The agricultural training agents are educated to carry out agricultural business projects, develop better breeding methods and improve the lives of farmers. These specialists have guided farmers in implementing agricultural projects and raised their efficiency, leading to significant results in a relatively short time span. Now, agricultural improvement is under way everywhere and rural villages have become active and full of hope. Furthermore, farming villages are encouraged to run additional businesses related to processed goods, vegetables, fruits and animal husbandry rather than crop farming, and they are also encouraged to carry out joint communal projects and domestic handicraft manufacturing in order to increase profits. A sisterhood society that aims to restore our rural villages by fostering friendship between rural and urban people is sending livestock as gifts to villages and the farmers are more than happy to raise them. Additionally, in order to transport crops more efficiency the narrow roads through the rice paddies are being widened. Now, we can see wide farm roads everywhere. Contagious diseases can be prevented by tidying up disorganized residential areas, and female residents have taken the lead in distributing comfortable and handsome work clothing. Adult education aimed at eradicating illiteracy is being conducted intensively to enlighten the lives of farming villages. Also, hospitals have been established in villages without local doctors, and free clinics provided by the government have toured many villages. The National Agricultural Cooperation Federation (NACF) has opened public distribution centers to help farmers sell their goods at fair prices and buy necessities at equally fair prices. Some villages use windmills or water mills to generate the electricity needed to power the local mill as well as their own households, making the villages literally brighter. Electricity projects are being implemented in each village with the help of government subsidies. Furthermore, farmers read books at small libraries whenever they can. Korean ginseng has been very popular overseas and, since the revolution, the Office of Monopoly has provided substantial support for its cultivation. Now, ginseng is being grown throughout the entire country.
Meanwhile, the profit from cigarette sales stood at KRW 5.03 billion in 1959, during the previous regime, but after the revolution it rose to KRW 8.9 billion a year, up KRW 3.87 billion. The profit from the sale of domestic cigarettes has steadily risen due to the ban on the sale of foreign cigarettes. In the past, cigarette filters were imported from foreign countries, which required a significant amount of foreign currency, but after the revolution only domestic filters were used, saving the heap of USD 1.3 million a year. The government has mobilized the urban unemployed to work on reclamation projects in rural areas in order to reclaim lost land. As a result, many acres of new agricultural land have been reclaimed and reforestation projects are underway nationwide in a bid to restore the desolate mountains and prevent flooding. Additionally, irrigation projects have been actively underway nationwide. In particular, the Yedang irrigation facility – the largest in the nation – and multi-purpose irrigation facilities that also generate electricity have been built, relieving farmers’ fear of drought. Along with the restoration of farming villages, struggling fishing villages have also been revitalized to help them bring in more abundant catches than before the revolution. The government provided huge subsidies for poor fishermen, allowing them to build 489 small fishing boats, and with a further 119 powered vessels being built for commercial purposes. In addition, the government encourages ships that used to fish exclusively in coastal waters to venture out as far as the Samoan Islands, earning KRW 31.2 million a year. It also plans to purchase seven large fishing vessels in order to establish an offshore deep-sea fishery. The government introduced fish detectors and rented them to fishermen in order to help them catch more fish. It also established fishery distribution centers to help fishermen sell their catch and consequently increase their income. Through these efforts made to develop the fishing industry, major port cities are growing rapidly and port construction projects as well as tideland reclamation work in Incheon, Mokpo, Yeosu, Busan, Mukho, and Pohang are being carried out. The reclamation projects are intended to broaden coastal lands to allow larger ships to dock easily by taking advantage of the tide difference. The project was planned a long time ago but it has only been boldly implemented since the revolution; now, the sound of construction fills the air. In particular, in Incheon, 4,300 meters of sea from Dokbaekbul to the second dock’s sea wall was filled to reclaim 2.18 million pyeong (3.3 square meters) of land. Numerous plants and houses will be built upon it.
Many plants were closed down for a period of time as a result of the social confusion and economic collapse. Those who lost their jobs were left wandering the streets in desperation, profits of state-run companies were fraudulently funneled to corrupt politicians, domestic industries shrunk drastically, the per capita income was miserably low and poverty was widespread. Looking at the per capita income of other countries, the United States earned USD 2,288, Japan made USD 340 and France recorded USD 962 while Korea only stood at USD 78. The Revolutionary Government established the Five-Year Economic Development Plans In order to raise people from destitution. Development projects are being actively implemented in 25 sectors of the agricultural and fishing industries (primary industries), 41 sectors of the manufacturing and mining industries (secondary industries) and 67 sectors of the transportation industry and postal service (tertiary industries). Regarding the land development projects, the Taebaeksan District, the Seomjingang River, the Namgang River and the Mokpo Yeongsangang River development projects are currently underway. Furthermore, multi-purpose water resource development, reforestation and erosion control, farmland improvement, land surveying, waterworks and sewage construction as well as harbor development projects are also underway. The domestic electricity supply was seriously aggravated by the unsound management of various power companies in the past. The blame for this is placed squarely on the politicians of the previous government, who separated the power generation companies from the distribution companies to benefit their own interests. Addressing this issue, the Revolutionary Government boldly integrated three power companies and, in the year and a half that followed the revolution, managed to restore the KRW 350 million loss that was incurred under the previous government. What’s more, an excess profit of KRW 1 billion was invested in the construction of more power generation facilities. A new power plant ship is being operated in the Busan Port to supply 30,000 kW to Gyeongsangnam-do in order to meet domestic demand until the completion of the new power generation facilities planned by the government. Additionally, a diesel-burning power generation facility was completed in Gwangju, and a total of 29 diesel generators have either been installed or are under construction in Seoul, Jeju Island and Mokpo.