South Korea’s Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA) has recently upgraded the customised information system of projects supported by the Ministry to address the inconveniences faced by farmers in the country
According to MAFRA, its website provides project guidelines for 179 projects and project documents for 376 projects. Aside from the government-funded projects, the information on projects supported by the local municipalities with their budgets will be provided on a pilot basis, the Ministry said.
In addition, for farmers who find it difficult to use the Internet, project guidelines and documents will be printed, and 16,000 booklets will be distributed to eup, myeon, dong, and local Nonghyup agricultural cooperatives.
Last year, the Ministry gathered opinions through local governments, chambers of agriculture, and farmers’ groups to provide information on the agri-food projects, and conducted surveys on 304 farmers and agricultural businesses.
The survey results indicated that 54.9% of farmers were not aware of detailed information on supported projects in the agri-food sector, showing low awareness of such information. Also, the respondents wished to receive such information through books, mobile applications, and in-person consultations.
In order to take the local farmers’ opinions into account, the Ministry said it was necessary to improve the way of providing information delivery and to reduce the number of people who cannot receive support just because they cannot understand the content of the business.
Back Un-Hwal, director of organisation and management innovation at MAFRA, said, “In the future, we will produce and distribute project guidelines and documents sooner so that farmers can check the information they need in a timely manner. We will hear what users have to say and continuously upgrade the information system by addressing inconveniences faced by users.”