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New agriculture minister vows efforts to boost farm exports

All Headlines 15:57 September 05, 2016

SEOUL, Sept. 5 (Yonhap) -- New agriculture minister vowed Monday to develop the country's agriculture sector by boosting exports.

"Our agriculture industry is facing slow growth as the local market continues to open its doors while the rise in income of farm households also remains at a standstill," Kim Jae-soo said in a speech marking his first day on the job as the minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs.

"Now is when the agriculture industry and our rural communities most need changes and innovation," he added, according to a copy of his speech released by the ministry.

New Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Kim Jae-soo (Yonhap file photo)

The 58-year-old stressed the importance of boosting the overall income of farmers, which in turn will enhance the overall competitiveness of the industrial sector, and thus creating what he called a virtuous circle of increased income and development.

To this end, Kim urged an export-oriented reform.

"I will work to open a new era of exports by transforming the country's agriculture sector into an export-oriented industry," he said. "The government will also continue to promote globalization of traditional Korean dishes, which will lead to a rise in exports, income of farmers and demand for tourism programs to rural areas that will help revitalize our rural communities."

The new minister also vowed efforts to reform and improve shipping and distribution networks for farm products to further improve their price competitiveness.

"We must also ease or remove all unnecessary regulations so that more people and investment will find their own way to our farming villages," Kim said.
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