Seoul should help promote output, not subsidize farmers: OECD

2018.12.04 16:26:46 | 2018.12.04 16:27:08

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South Korea should change the direction of its agricultural policy from short-term financial aid to long-term investment for sustainable output growth, an international organization recommended.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced Tuesday that it will release a report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), recommending guidelines for Korean agricultural policies on Wednesday. The OECD has been studying the nation’s agricultural sector with the Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI) since February.

The organization advised that the Korean government implement consistent agricultural policies to improve output and sustainability for the long-term and revise its current policy focused on subsidies for farmers. Korea should strengthen the role of the market by reducing state support and protection for certain items like rice, it added, and encourage farmers to care for environment more by setting up a guideline for environmental protection policy for farming.

Korea should also guarantee a more fair and open competition among National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (Nonghyup) and the private sector, the OECD recommended. In addition, it suggested ways to improve efficiency in farmland use, including revision of farmland inheritance taxation policy and expansion of tenant farming.

It also said the country needs to establish a cooperative system between the public and private sector. The government should increase its support for private sector research and development, encourage participation of outside experts in state-run studies and reflect technological demand by commercial farmers, it added.

The agriculture ministry and KREI will host an international seminar on Wednesday in central Seoul with OECD to celebrate the release of the report and discuss ways to improve the country’s agricultural policies with experts from home and abroad.

By Lee Yu-sup and Choi Mira

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