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Abstract

South Korea is a highly urbanized and industrialized country. Increased urbanization and greater specialization have led to rising incomes, and changes in food production and consumption patterns. Changes in consumption and increased production specialization have also resulted in changes in trading patterns, with South Korea emerging as a leading importer of agri-food products. South Korea places great importance on self-sufficiency in food staples, and achieving income parity between rural and urban households. To attain these goals, considerable support has been provided to its agriculture sector. South Korea's policy support to the agriculture sector ranks among the worlds' highest. Small holdings still persist, entry into the sector is difficult, and the farm population is aging rapidly. Demographics and resource scarcity are therefore likely to shape the sector's evolution in the coming decades. This note first provides an overview of South Korea's demographics and land resources, followed by a review of the evolution of South Korea's agricultural policies. South Korea's policy support measures are then described, and new policy and regulatory initiatives are discussed.

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