Poul­try in­dus­try to fo­cus on an­i­mal wel­fare

The Korea Times - - BUSINESS - By Yoon Ja-young yjy@ktimes.com

The gov­ern­ment will or­der changes in the breed­ing and rais­ing of poul­try to fo­cus on “an­i­mal wel­fare” in­stead of fac­tory farm­ing. Ad­di­tion­ally, young peo­ple who ded­i­cate them­selves to farm­ing will get gov­ern­ment sub­si­dies and con­sult­ing ser­vices. These were two key poli­cies pre­sented by the agri­cul­ture min­istry to Pres­i­dent Moon Jae-in, Wed­nes­day.

In a pol­icy brief­ing for the Pres­i­dent held in Se­jong, an ad­min­is­tra­tive city 130 kilo­me­ters south of Seoul, Agri­cul­ture Min­is­ter Kim Young-rok said that the min­istry will en­sure the safety of eggs and chick­ens, fol­low­ing the re­cent scan­dal of pes­ti­cide-con­tam­i­nated eggs.

“We will seek a par­a­digm shift in poul­try farm­ing, from caged farm­ing to meth­ods which re­spect an­i­mal wel­fare. We will also strengthen safety con­trols of poul­try prod­ucts,” the min­is­ter said.

From next year, new chicken farms will have to ei­ther fol­low the EU Stan­dard in breed­ing, which is one chicken per 0.075 square me­ters, or adopt meth­ods that fo­cus on “an­i­mal wel­fare.”

The mea­sure will be ap­plied to all chicken farms from 2025. Cur­rently floor space about the size of a sheet of A4 paper is pro­vided for each chicken in the fac­tory farm­ing sys­tem; and ex­perts have pointed out that the use of pes­ti­cides was in­evitable. Those des­ig­nated as “free-range farms,” mean­while, al­low chick­ens to roam around spa­cious ar­eas of land.

“To ex­pand free-range farms, we will pro­vide in­cen­tives for those switch­ing from fac­tory farm­ing,” Kim said.

From next year, farm­ers will have to mark eggs to show in which sur­round­ings the chick­ens were bred. All eggs will have to be col­lected and sold via egg grad­ing and pack­ing centers.

Cre­at­ing jobs and at­tract­ing young peo­ple to ru­ral ar­eas is also a key is­sue for the min­istry. It plans to in­tro­duce sup­port pack­ages for young peo­ple who want to be farm­ers. As well as be­ing pro­vided sub­si­dies, land, and con­sult­ing ser­vices, agri­cul­tural cor­po­ra­tions will adopt in­tern­ship pro­grams and star­tups en­gaged in bio, high-tech agri­cul­tural equip­ment and health sup­ple­ment in­dus­tries will get sup­port in re­search as well as fund­ing. The min­istry also cited the pet in­dus­try as a new growth en­gine that will be nur­tured to cre­ate more jobs.

The Min­istry of Oceans and Fish­eries, mean­while, said it would fo­cus on re­build­ing the ship­ping in­dus­try, which was hit by the col­lapse of Han­jin Ship­ping.

It plans to set up the Korea Mar­itime Cor­po­ra­tion, which will sup­port ship­pers and ship­builders.

Those switch­ing to en­vi­ron­ment-friendly ships will get sub­si­dies from 2018. The min­istry ex­pects the mea­sure to cre­ate de­mand for around 100 ships. The gov­ern­ment will also buy more ships.

It plans to set up the Korea Ship­ping Part­ner­ship among local ship­ping com­pa­nies so that they can re­struc­ture over­lap­ping routes while de­vel­op­ing new ones. The min­istry said that a “mega port de­vel­op­ment plan” will be pro­duced within this year to nur­ture Bu­san Port, on top of bol­ster­ing in­fra­struc­ture for a new port in In­cheon.

“The ma­rine and fish­eries in­dus­tries form an im­por­tant pil­lar of the econ­omy and they are also an in­dus­try for the future that en­riches re­gional economies,” Oceans Min­is­ter Kim Young-choon said. “We will do our ut­most to make Korea a global ma­rine pow­er­house.”

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