Jeju holds first-ever expo on future farming machineryBy Byun Hye-jin
Published : Nov. 8, 2022 - 15:25
SEOGWIPO, Jeju -- South Korea’s first-ever expo on automotive and self-operating agriculture machinery kicked off Tuesday on Jeju Island, addressing commitment for sustainable agriculture powered by innovative technology.
“The country’s agriculture industry is facing great challenges, including climate change and a shrinking agricultural population along with aging farmers. These have become struggles for the agriculture industry here,” said the expo’s committee chairman Lee Eun-man during the opening ceremony. “By adopting automotive and self-operating technology, we can tackle the labor shortage and sharply increase production in farming.”
Citing the government’s net-zero target of reducing carbon emissions by 38 percent by 2050 in the agriculture and fishery industries compared to 2018 -- Lee added that farming machinery should use electricity and hydrogen energy and farmers should replace chemical fertilizers with more eco-friendly fertilizers.
Oh Young-hun, governor of Jeju, also echoed the view, saying that he plans to submit the 310 billion won ($223.8 million) budget for the island’s net-zero project.
Keynote speakers shared their insights on government-led programs and automotive solutions to deal with the labor shortage in farming.
“Municipal areas have already entered the death cross phase where only one baby is born while 10 elderly die. Coupled with the low fertility problem, there has been mass migration to urban areas, especially to metropolitan districts, leaving less farmers,” said Cho Jae-ku, head of the National Association of Mayors in Korea.
Taking the examples of France, Japan and the UK, Cho said Korea should also actively carry out government projects that aim to reduce the economic imbalances such as metro-centric development and educational disparities between core cities and suburbs.
Jacob Madsen, head of Application Engineering at Danfoss, a Denmark-based engineering solutions provider, stressed that autonomous machines significantly enhance production in farming and perform precision tasks faster and more reliably than humans.
Officially titled “Ive Expo : The 1st Electric and Autonomous Agriculture,” the event includes exhibitions on self-driving and eco-friendly tractors and other future agriculture machinery. It holds conferences and business meetings on international cooperation in future farming technology, net-zero and smart farming as well.
The expo is co-hosted by the International Electric Vehicle Expo, the Korea Global EV Association Network, Jeju Special Self-Governing Province and the Korea Agricultural Machinery Forum. It is held at the Jeju Agriculture Technology Institute in Seogwipo from Nov. 8-11.
The event is a spinoff of the annual International Electric Vehicle Expo that has taken place on the island every year since 2013. The Korea Herald is a media partner for this event.
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