Self-sufficiency in major crops has been in decline as Korea’s expenditure for natural disaster relief in agriculture increased. Abnormal weather rapidly had a tenfold increase in 2012 as compared to 2008and production cost for major crops has also steadily increased. Therefore, it is required to develop technologies for stable production, crop damage reduction, and management cost reduction in horticultural and herbal crops.
Korea’s horticultural and herbal research is currently at top five in the world, however, it is still important to expand the investment on basic research and green technology. It is urgent to breed new varieties in response to FTA, improve crop quality, develop energy-saving techniques, and other climate change mitigating technologies for the horticulture. Also, stable production system and value-added crop production are needed for herbs such ginseng, mushroom, and other medicinal crops.
The expansion of FTA in major countries have intensified global competition and made a trending increase in the consumption of safe agricultural products with functional substances. Thus, demand for healthy agricultural products and the need for plant factory technology have also increased. Also, the demand for urban horticulture such as air-cleaning plants has also escalated. However, along these developments, uncertainty and variability of agricultural market have also expanded due to abnormal weather and natural disaster.
To ascertain development and competitiveness of horticultural and herbal industries, the priority projects are:
(1) development of stable production technology for agricultural products;
(2) development of climate change mitigation technologies;
(3) establishment of model for urban agriculture;
(4) strengthening competitiveness and expanding export of horticultural and herbal industry;
(5) expansion of agricultural product consumption by developing post-harvest management technologies;
(6) development and commercialization of medicinal crops;
(7) breeding and dissemination of domestic varieties to reduce royalty payment;
(8) development of horticultural and herbal varieties to meet consumers’ demand;
(9) development and dissemination of energy-saving technology in response to high oil price; and
(10) commercialization of R&D results.
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