More than half of South Korean farmers believe their country's agricultural industry will improve if economic cooperation with North Korea becomes active, a recent survey said Friday.
The Korea Rural Economic Institute (KREI) polled 1,379 farmers on their views of cross-border economic tie-ups and found 66.3 percent anticipate South Korea's agricultural sector to get better from the cooperation. Another 23.6 percent said the effect of the tie-ups will be average, while 10.1 percent answered the conditions will worsen.
Asked whether agricultural cooperation was needed in cross-border projects, 75.5 percent said yes compared with 18.1 percent who answered no.
In naming three primary cooperation projects, the No. 1 choice was in forestry, followed by joint efforts on developing farming supplies, such as fertilizers and pesticides, and exchanges in personnel and experts.
Suggestions and proposals included cooperation in the form of joint work rather than unilateral aid to the North, projects aimed at improving the North's self-sustainment rather than free assistance, and mutual sharing of information and knowledge.
Some recommended that the government purchase excess production of South Korean agricultural products and send them to the North and that the foreign workers hired at farms be replaced with North Koreans, KREI said. (yonhap)