SEOUL, Jan. 12 (Korea Bizwire) – The number of agricultural corporations has nearly quadrupled over the past decade, government data showed Friday, as South Korean farmers have been struggling to cope with an influx of agricultural products from overseas.
The figure was 19,413 as of the end of 2016, up from 5,307 in 2006, according to statistics from the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.
The ministry attributed the rise to joint efforts by the government and farmers to tackle the opening of South Korea’s rice and other agricultural markets to foreign countries, after the 1994 Uruguay Round multilateral trade talks.
About 61.2 percent of agricultural corporations have fewer than four employees.
The total number of employees at agricultural corporations was 122,000 in 2016, up 5.7 percent from a year earlier.
Among them, 98,000 were regular employees and 24,000 were temporary workers.
Agricultural corporations’ total sales increased 4.7 percent on-year to 25.7 trillion won (US$24.1 billion) in 2016.
Average sales per corporation stood at 1.4 billion won in 2016, up 1.2 percent from the previous year.
The average assets held by each corporation jumped 7.7 percent to 1.4 billion won in 2016 from a year ago, while average liabilities climbed 5.6 percent on-year to 877 million won.