Korea To Increase Quality To Overcome FTA Challenge

KOREA - Korea will strive to increase top quality agricultural production to overcome challenges brought on by free trade arrangements with foreign countries, the government said Tuesday (Sept. 11).
calendar icon 11 September 2007
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Can Korea upgrade its meat

The Rural Development Administration (RDA) said liberalization is a global trend and survival of local farm goods depended on meeting high consumer demands.

Korea has free trade agreements with Chile, Singapore, the European Free Trade Association and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. It signed a deal with the United States on June 30, which is waiting ratification, and moving to reach similar deals with the European Union, Canada, Mexico and India.

It said over 40 billion won ($4.26 million) in fresh funds are being requested in 2008 for research and development and agriculture infrastructure building that will help raise quality of 49 locally grown produces. These include such produce such as rice, corn, ginseng, various fruits and vegetable, beef, pork, and traditional processed foods.

The RDA said of these, output of top quality beef, rice and fruits will be increased sharply in the next 3-8 years.

"Efforts will be made to improve hanwoo cattle stock quality so by 2010, 80 percent of meat produced by these animals can be classified as premium quality compared to 71 percent at present," said Kim In-sik, the administrator of the agency under the Agriculture Ministry.

Source: Korea.net
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