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Nonghyup elects local chapter head as chairman

Kim Byung-won (NACF)
Kim Byung-won (NACF)

The National Agricultural Cooperative Federation, or Nonghyup, announced the appointment of Kim Byung-won as its new chairman Tuesday.

Kim, the 62-year-old head of the Nampyeong operations of Nonghyup in Naju, North Jeolla Province, will take helm of the nation’s largest agricultural association with 400 trillion won ($330 billion) in assets, 31 subsidiaries and affiliates, and 8,800 executives. He will represent the 2.35 million members of the farmers’ association.

Kim was elected chairman in a vote attended by 292 NACF representatives, beating five candidates, including Lee Sung-hee, the head of Naksaeng Nonghyup in Pangyo, Gyeonggi Province, and his final rival in the afternoon runoff vote.

The incumbent NACF chairman Choi Won-byung, who served two terms, lost out in the first round of vote amid the ongoing prosecution probe against NACF executives over allegedly receiving kickbacks from animal feed suppliers for business favors. Although prosecutors did not find grounds for Choi’s involvement, the recurring bribery scandals among Nonghyup employees and retailers undermined the former chairman’s position at the vote.

The new chairman will take office on Tuesday for a four-year term.

By Chung Joo-won (