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Farming Population Recorded 8.6 Percent of Total Last Year

Farming Population Recorded 8.6 Percent of Total Last Year

Posted December. 19, 2001 09:25,   


As the farming population declined with the post-agricultural era, the farming population plunged to record less than 10 percent of the total population for the first time in the nation`s history. The average rice field size of farming household has enlarged to some extent, but 7 out of 10 households are still farming on the field less than 1 ha.

According to `the 2000 Agricultural and Maritime Household Survey` released by the National Statistics Office (NSO) Tuesday, as of Dec. 1, 2000, households and people related to farming totaled 1.383 million and 4.031 million respectively, down 7.8 percent and 16.9 percent from five years ago.

In particular, the agricultural population fell to 8.6 percent of the nation`s total population, recording for the first time less than 10 percent since the survey launched in 1960.

And the maritime households and population involved in fisheries plunged to a greater degree to 82,000 and 251,000, down 21.9 percent and 27.6 percent respectively from five years ago.

The average farmland of households was 1.37 ha, increased by 3.8 percent from five years ago. And average farmland of rice farming households, which constitute 78 percent of the total farming households, recorded 0.93 ha, up 6.9 percent. But 72.9 percent of rice farming households run farms that are less than 1 ha, remaining as petty farmers.

Elderly farmers over the age of 65 constituted 21.7 percent, increased by 5.5 percent from five years ago. This figure is three times higher than the percent of elderly people (7.2 percent) among the total population, signaling the rapid aging process of the agricultural society.

The number of farming household members averaged 2.91, dropped by 0.32 from five years ago, far short from the average number of members of the nation`s total household members, 3.12. And the households comprised of only two elderly members recorded 38.7 percent.

Joong-Hyun Park sanjuck@donga.com