The government will establish what it calls a "K-rice belt" across seven countries in Africa, in order to advance current official development assistance (ODA) programs to countries that are struggling with a lack of agricultural infrastructure, compounded by geographical and other limitations unfavorable to growing crops, the food ministry said Wednesday.
Those countries are Senegal, Gambia, Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon, Uganda and Kenya. The ministry will sign memoranda of understanding (MOUs) with those countries this year to help them identify ways to more effectively nurture the traditional industry, enabled in part by renting out used Korean agricultural equipment.
These are among the key policy directives of the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for 2023.
Global cooperation with key grain-producing countries will be strengthened through efforts to diversify trade partner countries in Central and South America.
A minister-chaired special task force will be launched to help Korea achieve $10 billion (12 trillion won) in agricultural exports this year, promoting IT-mediated smart farming technologies and capabilities of strong local players. The goal is to push up the figure further to $15 billion in 2027.
The government intends to raise the country's overall food self-sufficiency rate to 55.5 percent by 2027, up from 44.4 percent in 2021, propelled mostly by the increased output of locally grown grain. Rice is the only grain that has registered a self-sufficiency rate of a robust 84.6 percent. About 80 percent of other crops are imported.
Read more here.