Market reforms pay off

Korea should follow the example of New Zealand farmers Special Agricultural Trade Envoy Alistair Polson tells the Korea JoongAng Daily on a recent visit to Seoul to meet Korean agricultural industry leaders. Once highly protective of its farming sector, New Zealand embraced market reforms and made its agricultural industry one of the most competitive and efficient in the world. Polson, who is also a farmer, said relying on government subsidies, as Korean farmers do, dulls them to market signals and eventually hinders them from seizing new opportunities in overseas markets. Since 1984, when the then New Zealand government began a series of radical economic reforms aimed at generating sustained economic growth, Polson said, farm productivity has increased. “The ability to respond quickly to signals from the market means farmers make far more efficient production decisions than the government ever could. We have seen a switch into different and newer products, new markets, greater value added in our products and a more efficient processing sector.”


Tags: Korea  Korea Joongang Daily  Market reform  Special Agricultural Trade  

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