UPDATE : 2019.7.23 TUE 15:45
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Gov't to promote local agro-products under revised anti-graft law

The South Korean government said Wednesday it will step up efforts to promote consumption of local agricultural products ahead of next month's Lunar New Year in line with its implementation of the revised anti-graft law.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced a set of measures to support local farms as the price ceiling on gifts for public servants was raised to 100,000 won (US$92) from 50,000 won under the revision. The goods regulated under the law are agricultural, livestock and fisheries products, and processed foods made from such products.

The law was adopted in September 2016 as part of efforts to eradicate deep-rooted corruption in South Korean society, but local farmers and fishermen have demanded the adjustment of the price limit, claiming the strict regulation seriously affected their revenues.

"As the law revision was aimed at helping the local agriculture industry grapple with sluggish consumption, the purpose of law should not be undermined," Agriculture Minister Kim Young-rok said in a briefing. "The agriculture sector welcomed that the law was revised ahead of the Lunar New Year, expecting that the adjusted price ceiling would help sales of gift packages."

Ahead of the Lunar New Year, which falls in mid-February this year, local retailers are promoting gift packages composed of Korean beef and other high-end seafood for the busy season.

The ministry said it has distributed 1 million stickers identifying gifts permitted under the current law and held a series of promotional events for local fruits and beef at local markets.

Sales of packaged gift sets of agricultural and livestock products during the Lunar New Year in 2017 came to 124.2 billion won, down a sharp 25.8 percent from a year earlier, according to industry data. (Yonhap)

Gift packages of Korean beef and croakers are displayed in a discount supermarket in Seoul on Jan. 16, 2018, one month ahead of the Lunar New Year. (Yonhap)

Shin Eugenia  edt@koeapost.com

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