The “2018 A FARM SHOW – Farming Startup, Return to Farming Expo” hosted jointly by The Dong-A Ilbo and Channel A kicked off at aT Center in Seoul’s Seocho district on Friday. The event, which continues through Sunday, attracted more than 15,000 visitors who have keen interest in return to farming, return to rural areas, and founding of farming startups from Day 1. The visitors had a chance to experience high-tech farming technologies including an integrated greenhouse energy management system, or ultra high-precision grafting robots that adopt video recognition system, taking a step closer to realizing their dream to become an innovative farmer.
Especially notable among the visitors were young people who displayed as strong interest in the event as middle-aged or older people. “Farming Story Talk Concert” where experienced farmers presented their accounts of farming was jam-packed with aspiring young would-be farmers, who strove to gain as much information as possible. This is evidenced by the fact that those in their 20s and 30s accounted for 50 percent of people who returned to farming and rural villages last year.
Achievements made young venture farmers who have pursued innovative farming are laudable. Goh Seung-yeon (36) grew cabbages and potatoes by using advanced farming technique in which agricultural chemicals and fertilizer were mixed with benign microorganisms, to earn 120 million won (105,000 U.S. dollars) in profit, or half of his total sales. Lee Jeong-dai (31), who learned pig farming in the Netherlands and Denmark, is operating a pigpen that automatically controls temperatures and humidity by adopting information and communications technology. His farm posts the lowest level of pig mortality rate (0.3) in Korea, and continues to rake in stable earnings.
The expo, which marks the fifth annual event this year, is held under the theme “Food for 100 years: Agriculture is our future, and let’s create 1 million jobs with innovative farming” in a bid to provide a catalyst for founding of innovative farms that goes beyond the return to farming or rural area movement. With more than half a million people having returned to farming and rural areas last year, creating 1 million jobs is no longer an unachievable dream. Innovative farming in tune with the Fourth Industrial Revolution era offers not only jobs for young people but also the future of the Republic of Korea.