Food security concerns are mounting due to rice and wheat export bans, migration restrictions and labor force shortages. India and Vietnam, which are the world’s largest and third-largest rice exporters, recently banned rice exports. In addition, Russia implemented a 10-day suspension starting from March 20 with regard to every grain. More and more countries are banning food exports amid the rapid spread of COVID-19.
The Ministry of Food and Drug Safety of South Korea, in the meantime, recently announced that South Korea’s food imports for 2019 totaled 18.6 million tons worth US$28.1 billion, which are divided into approximately 738,000 cases from 168 countries.
South Korea is currently facing problems such as narrow arable land, vulnerable cultivation environments and a shortage of farmers. Besides, unsystematic crop supply has led to repeated crop price fluctuations. Under the circumstances, smart farming is emerging as a solution to such problems.
Smart farming is to optimize environments related to crops, livestock and marine products by means of the Internet of Things, big data and artificial intelligence and automatically and remotely control those environments by means of personal computers and smartphones. The smart farming industry of South Korea is expected to keep growing based on the government’s plan for smart farm development.