SEOUL, Jan. 3 (Korea Bizwire) – The government has set lofty goals for the South Korean seed industry in its latest five-year plan.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) revealed on January 3 that it had completed an industry blueprint for 2018 through 2022.
The Seed Industry Act was first passed into law in 2013, when the government decided to grow the seed industry. After the law’s inception, a comprehensive plan was passed, and updates will continue to be released in five-year intervals.
This month’s plan targets industry improvement and export expansion, and also includes a wide range of supplementary actions.
The MAFRA will provide greater support for the procurement of distribution markets abroad, the participation of South Korean industry players at expos in foreign countries, the hosting of international seed expos locally, and other areas to ramp up seed exports and bolster global market competitiveness.
Through these measures, the MAFRA aims to reach $200 million in exports by 2022, which would place South Korea 13th in the world. In 2016, exports amounted to $54 million, placing the country 30th.
R&D will be undertaken to introduce new variations of seeds that can withstand abnormal weather patterns and can also serve as a countermeasure against fluctuating consumer tastes.
The government will establish a seed production facility at Saemangeum, and an international seed research lab that will serve as both an industry hub and a place to train future industry professionals will also be constructed.
To enable SMEs to take a leading role in growing the seed industry, the MAFRA will offer assistance packages that can be tailored to meet each firms’ needs. In addition, firms will continue to receive tax credits for investment into new product development.