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Non-competitive structure Compared with the industrial sector KOREAN agriculture is less developed with small farms aged farm population low productivity and underdeveloped marketing structure Therefore the agricultural sector is highly dependent on government support and intervention Rice intensive Rice is the dominant crop accounting for about 31 percent of the total agricultural production value and 51 percent of the total area cultivated in 1996 Rice consumption per capita at around 1204kg in 1997 has fallen from its peak of 136kg in 1970 and remains at a significantly higher level compared to other Asian countries Productivity growth Agricultural output has increased greatly as a result of productivity gains which have been derived mainly from high-yielding variety seeds and increased investment in the agricultural sector Despite the dominance of rice rising income and population growth have created increased demand for livestock products vegetables and fruits Because of the dominance of rice production and barley corn and soybean production policies pertaining to food grains have been central to agricultural policy Farmers welfare Most farmers still live on the income generated mainly from rice and a number of other crops Korean farmers cultivate a variety of other crops including barley pulses potatoes apples pears Chinese cabbage onions and red-pepper Agriculture has become very intensive with respect to its use of input such a fertilizers pesticides and machinery Average farm household incomes are below the average level of the urban incomes although rural living conditions have improved significantly As a result of government attention and investments focused on the industrial sector the gap between the rural and urban sectors widened at a steady pace and infrastructure educational facilities and medical services in rural areas are far inferior to those in urban areas Changing policy Over the past decades agricultural policy orientation has been aimed at maintaining a high degree of self-sufficiency Korea has become almost self-sufficient in major staple food crops such as rice However
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