South Korean Farmers at Work
Changes for South Korean Farmers
As late as the early 1960s, two-thirds of the South Korean population engaged in agriculture work. Today farmers make up less than one-fourth of the total population. Except for the landless rural poor (perhaps 6 to 8 percent of the rural population), they are reasonably well fed, well clothed, and well sheltered. More than 95% percent of the rural villages enjoy electricity, and nearly every household has a television set. All farmers in South Korea are small farmers.
South Korean Farmer's Economics
Korean farmers are very high-cost producers in terms of international prices, and therefore their economic well being depends on government price subsidies and restrictions on the importation of agricultural products from abroad. After a decade of rapid improvement in living standards during the 1970s, the situation of farmers became more precarious in the 1980s. The cost of manufactured goods that they must buy from the industrial sector has increased disproportionately compared with the price increases for their agricultural products. At the same time household debt has increased, in part because of rampant consumerism.Back to South Korean Choice Page