Moo~ Moo~ (Hello Readers!)
The weather is getting hotter and hotter as summer steps closer every day. What is worse is that the notorious rainy season of Korea is lurking around the corner. However, today, I have good news to cool people down, especially livestock farmers. As you can see from the title, government’s big financial support is on the way to revive shrinking domestic livestock market.
Since the first FTA with Chile in 2002, Korea has signed 10 FTAs with 47 other countries. And it’s been a year since signing a FTA with the United States. There have been lots of different opinions about the results of the comprehensive contract. However, one apparent negative opinion is being raised by Korean cattle farmers and it has caught the public’s attention – though the result is not entirely stemming from the FTA. The current situation that Korean cattle farmers are facing these days doesn’t look so favorable because of skyrocketing feedstuff prices and plummeting cattle price. They are supposed to benefit from the gap between the sum amount of feedstuff required to raise a cattle and the market price for the cattle. However, with the rising feedstuff prices and falling market price for cattle, the farmers’ earning is contracting. In response to the urgent need of cattle farmers, the Financial Services Commission has prepared a proactive financial support via the special guarantee of the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries credit fund that could relax the farmers’ agony.
The contents of the support are as follows:
1. New financial assistance of 1.3 Trillion won as a special feedstuff purchasing fund
2. As a subsequent measure, special guarantee on the fund will be taken place (1.5% interest rate, reimbursement in 2-3 years depending on the type of livestock)
The credit cap for each farm household is 100 million won and it will be applied regardless of types of livestock. For more facilitated operation of the financial assistance, dedicated staff will be placed at 27 local centers.
This special support of the government would help approaching 29,000 farm households. Also the support is expected to reduce interest burdens of the farmers by approximately 200 billion won through the shift from credit purchasing for feedstuff to cash purchasing.
The livestock industry is one of the important industries that props up the fundamental economy. It will be exposed to more internal and external factors that could bring more turbulence into the industry in the process of globalization and diversification of the market. However, under a certain level of protection, I hope the Korean livestock industry could thrive for better product quality and productivity.
Sang Hee Yu