President Yoon Suk-yeol visited a smart farm complex in the central city of Sangju on Wednesday, pledging to support the growth of smart farms and young farmers.
Yoon visited the Smart Farm Innovation Valley in Sangju, 166 kilometers southeast of Seoul, where he met with young farmers growing strawberries and tomatoes with the help of smart technology.
He also held a weekly economic and public livelihood meeting at the complex, recalling that he had visited Sangju during the presidential campaign in February and pledged to turn the city into a key source of smart technology.
"In order to overcome the difficulties faced by farming villages, such as a declining population and climate change, and help the farming industry take a new leap, it is essential to spread smart farming based on big data, AI, and digital technologies," Yoon said at the meeting, pledging to expand training and consulting services for farmers.
Yoon also said the government plans to increase the number of smart farms that run on automated climate control systems and machinery while establishing open platforms for farming data and improving information systems based on geographical data.
Yoon said young people are the engine of innovation in the farming industry and pledged the government's active assistance in helping them launch farming businesses and grow into farming professionals.
In particular, he offered to increase long-term land leases and reduce interest rates on new business loans.
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