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Government to Ease Farmland Demand Limits

Posted January. 13, 2004 23:10,   


Non-farmers will be allowed to buy up to 1,000 pyong of farmland from the current 300 pyong state starting from as early as next year. One pyong is equivalent to 3.3 square meters.

Among the lands designated only for agricultural promotion, some that are in the vicinity of an urban area will be allowed to be developed for other industrial purposes. The designated lands account for more than 10 percent of the national territory (99,461km²).

Minister of Agriculture and Forestry Huh Sang-man announced this farmland reform plan at a cabinet meeting held yesterday at Cheong Wa Dae.

“In order to attract urban capital to rural areas, the limit of farmland demand for non-farmers should be eased from 300 pyong to 1,000 pyong. Urban capital is especially essential for the lands that are not designated for agricultural promotion,” said the minister at the meeting.

Construction of retirement homes, pensions, or agriculture-related factories will be approved on small or steep lands.

“It is better to develop some of the designated lands that are near an urban area. We’re working on a concrete scale with the Ministry of Construction and Transportation,” said the minister. Approximately five percent of the designated lands are near a city.

This measure came after the analysis that in preparing for the agricultural market opening, it is inefficient to preserve some farmlands that cannot be cultivated by farming machinery due to topographical reasons.

The designating system was introduced in 1992 in order to preserve good arable lands for a stable supply of food.

Currently a total of 11,484km² lands (10,630km² farmlands and 854km² non-farmlands) are designated for agriculture promotion. These lands are used only for agricultural purposes such as farming and agricultural facilities including a farming machinery storage or an agricultural product market.

Jin-Hup Song Jong-Hoon Lee jinhup@donga.com taylor55@donga.com