Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Other Side of the Information Revolution Coin: Korea's Farm Population Drops

On my weekend trips to Kangwon-do, my wife and I enjoy watching the farmers do their work as the seasons change. The report in today's  Korea Times, about the continued decline of South Korea's farming population caught my eye.  The number of Koreans working in the agricultural and fisheries sectors has declined by one-third over the past 25 years as people in rural areas moved to cities for higher income and a better life. According to the National Statistical Office (NSO) Wednesday, the number of farmers and fishermen stood at 3.4 million in 2005, accounting for 7.3 percent of the total population. It marks a sharp decrease from 10.8 million in 1980 when almost one out of three Koreans were engaged in the sector. The article also notes that the agricultural and fisheries industries accounted for 3.3 percent of Korea's gross domestic product (GDP), substantially lower than manufacturing's 28.4 percent and the service sector's 67.8 percent, according to the statistical office.

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