The Rural Development Administration (RDA), led by Administrator Park Byung-hong, shares its agricultural technology and experience accumulated over the past 60 years with developing countries in Asia, Africa, Central and South America to achieve the universal public values of 'Hunger Solution' and 'Food Security'.
Agricultural technology and experience in rural development that have led Korea's economic development have contributed to the development of agriculture in the international community, and are being re-emerged under the name of 'K-agricultural technology'.
The RDA has established KOrea Program on International Agriculture (KOPIA) in 22 countries, and has established and operated 3FACIs by continent in which 13 countries in Asia, 12 countries in Latin America, and 23 countries in Africa participate.
KOPIA and 3FACIs are fulfilling the function of a public technology innovation platform for the development and dissemination of technologies tailored to the circumstances of the developing countries.
As K-agricultural technology spreads for global agricultural development and resolution of food problems, many countries are actively requesting RDA’s participation in overseas agricultural technology support projects.
KOPIA and 3FACIs are conducting joint projects to solve global food problems in collaboration with United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO), Africa Rice Center, and the World Bank (WB).
By continuously promoting joint projects with international organizations and leading cooperative projects by continent, RDA has been gaining more results than expected.
KOPIA Cambodia Center cooperates with a Cambodian research institute
In 2018, the KOPIA Cambodia Center collaborated with a Cambodian research institute to develop and register the first corn seed CHM01 (Cambodia Hybrid Maize No. 01).
The CHM01 corn seed, which is resistant to downy mildew, has a higher yield than existing varieties, and the seed price is 30% cheaper than that of the US and Thailand, which are major importing countries, contributing to improving the income of Cambodian farmers.
The RDA-KOPIA Cooperation Project and Cambodia Corn Seed Development were introduced in the white paper of the European Chamber of Commerce in 2019 to announce the excellence of Korea’s official development assistance (ODA) performance.
K-agricultural technology rooted in Ecuador, the origin of potatoes
Based on Korean hydroponics technology, RDA established a disease-free seed potato production and distribution system, pest control targeting small farmers, and eco-friendly cultivation and post-harvest management technology.
The potato production of farms participating in the disease-free seed potato production and distribution pilot project in Ecuador's high mountains increased by up to 40%, resulting in a 20% increase in farm household income.
In recognition of its contribution, the KOPIA Ecuador Center was awarded from the Pacto Global Red Ecuador (PGRE) of the United Nations in the antipoverty field in 2020.
Produced a map of soil organic carbon in Asia in collaboration with FAO
RDA and FAO collaborated with the Asian Food & Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (AFACI) to jointly produce an Asian soil organic carbon map.
Since 2019, 50 soil experts from 14 Asian member countries including Korea have participated to quantify the amount of carbon in the soil for climate change mitigation and to digitize relevant information.
By establishing a system where information can be easily viewed online by country, it is helping to produce crops suitable for the soil.
Seven member countries of the Korea-Latin America Food & Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (KoLFACI) have participated in the ‘Latin American Digital Soil Environment Information (IRAKA) System Establishment’ project since 2017.
Through this, Colombia succeeded in establishing the first digital soil environment information system (IRAKA) in Latin America.
It scientifically collects and analyzes soil characteristics information of the Kundi Boya Sense highlands in Colombia and provide it.
Colombia's digital soil environment information system research results were published in the world-class academic journal CATENA (IF 4.3) in 2020 and recognized as scientific achievements.
K-agricultural technology in Africa, laying the foundation for food self-reliance
The RDA formed the ‘Korea-Africa Food & Agriculture Cooperation Initiative (KAFACI)’ to promote the ‘Africa Rice Development Partnership Project’ and is working to solve the Africa food security problem.
Together with the Africa Rice Center Institute, an international research institute, it is developing and distributing multiple rice varieties in 19 Africa countries.
It is transferring technology to reduce the breeding period of varieties and promoting the exchange of genetic resources and strengthening cultivation technology capabilities.
In Senegal, Mali, and Malawi, five new varieties were registered as supply varieties.
Administrator Park Byung-hong of RDA said, "We will support the sustainable development of the international community and strengthen technological cooperation to solve common problems in the global agricultural sector together with international organizations and development cooperation partners."