The FTA (Free Trade Agreement) between countries is a serious area of contention for the farming community in Korea. The economic issues are complicated, but the results are not: the farmers always lose. The government, seeing the benefits from free trade for big business, is willing to sacrifice the farmers, believing that in the long run all will benefit. Cheaper farmed goods will enter the country, and food expenses will decrease for all citizens.
editorials and articles have recently made readers aware that July 21st
is Farmers Sunday, which is intended to bring the plight of farmers to
public awareness. Korea's self-sufficiency in
grain production is only 24.3 percent, as of 2011, one of the
lowest in the world. And because we see a likely change in weather
conditions, future production may be no better than it is currently.
face numerous obstacles in their daily lives, as they work to bring
food to markets throughout the country. Future weather conditions always pose
problems, as will the movement toward free trade, which will allow
cheaper food products to enter the county. If all the countries had the
same playing field, there may be something to say for free trade but that is not the case. Conditions in each
country are different: lower wages and subsidies are the primary
variables that do not make for fair competition.
desire of the present generation for a comfortable life is going to
make the farmer's life difficult. The city-dweller consumer will have a
great deal to do in helping the farmers overcome their difficulties by
motivating some of them to change to organic farming. People of faith
should be taking a lead in this movement by supporting farmers who are
making efforts to live and farm ecologically. Helping the farming areas
to farm in a healthy manner is not only a question of producing food but
also a means of fostering life.
cooperatives, buying directly from the farms, contract production and
education programs have done much to stimulate interest in the farming
sector. However, as the editorial states, there are many more mountains
to cross. Korea has only 254 parishes that are selling products from our
farms, a very small number. The interest city dwellers show farmers in
buying their organic farm products will stimulate others to embrace the
new methods of farming. Non-organic methods of farming are much easier
and the yield is greater than in organic farming, which means consumers
of organic produce must be willing to help organic farmers overcome the
difficulties, with their cooperation and willingness to pay more for