SEOUL, March 19 (Korea Bizwire) — The worsening outbreak of the new coronavirus has put a damper on consumption and lead to a big drop in eating out.
With the delay to the start of the school year, concerns are deepening for local farmers suffering from a sharp drop in demand.
Amid such circumstances, local governments are promoting the sale of agricultural products online, attracting much attention from the public.
Gangwon Province Governor Choi Moon-soon recently launched a sales promotion for potatoes produced in the province through his Twitter account and the Gangwon Province official SNS channel.
Orders came flooding in for 10-kilogram boxes of potatoes that were sold at a low price of only 5,000 won (US$3.98) per box.
Last year, farming households in Gangwon Province produced 138,000 tons of potatoes thanks to ample sunlight and precipitation, and only minor typhoon damage. This is more than 20 percent of the average annual production.
The supply has easily surpassed demand, sending wholesale prices plummeting. To make matters worse, the COVID-19 outbreak has prompted a drop in demand.
Potatoes are piled up to the ceiling in storage warehouses. The province plans to sell all of its current inventory of about 11,000 tons by April.
Meanwhile, South Gyeongsang Province has also decided to support local farmers by selling fruit packages and vegetable packages.
The province will first conduct sales to public institutions and expand sales to ordinary citizens online from March 23.
Gyeonggi Province also launched a campaign to jointly sell eco-friendly farm products, asking for their participation in the consumption campaign when shipments of eco-friendly school food products are on high alert.
A four-kilogram box of spinach, lettuce and 11 other agricultural goods is selling for 20,000 won, and discounts of 2,000 won are offered for joint purchases of more than 50 boxes.
To support eco-friendly local farms in the region, the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation’s Jeonnam Regional Head Office began offering special sales support for fruit produced within the province at large distribution stores in the Seoul metropolitan area from March 9.
M. H. Lee (firstname.lastname@example.org)