Innovation, Agricultural Productivity and Sustainability in Korea

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Agriculture in Korea is under increasing pressure to meet changing domestic demand, improve its productivity to keep up with the country's competitive manufacturing sector, and become more competitive at the international level. To date, the government has offered extensive support to farm income via price support, direct payments, preferential tax treatment, and reduced input prices. However, a more comprehensive policy approach is required to address the low-income problem in agriculture, and a more comprehensive rural development policy is also required to create employment opportunities for the younger generation.

Korea should explore its potential to export niche agricultural products and processed food that reflect its rich and unique food culture. To unleash the sector’s potential, agricultural policy should focus on improving the productivity and sustainability of commercial enterprises and develop the food processing sector. The country's agricultural innovation system should become more integrated and collaborative, benefiting from its strong competitive advantage in Information and Communication Technology (ICT).

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Overview of the food and agriculture situation in Korea

This chapter describes the overall economic, social and environmental context in which the food and agriculture sector in Korea operates, and the natural resource base upon which it relies. It provides an overview of the general geographical and economic characteristics of Korea; outlines the share of the agri-food complex in the economy; identifies the main structural characteristics of the food and agriculture sector; provides an overview of the main food and agriculture outputs and markets; and analyses the main trends in agricultural productivity, competitiveness and sustainability. It finally raises a number of issues the agri-food complex is likely to face in the future.




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