The Philippines and South Korea have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) that will transform Philippine agricultural cooperatives and farmers’ associations into key drivers of growth in rural areas.
Philippine Ambassador to South Korea Raul Hernandez, together with Agricultural Analyst Maria Alilia Maghirang, head of the Philippine Agriculture Office (PAO), and Chairman Byeong-won Kim of the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation (NACF) and his team signed the MOU at the NACF headquarters in Seoul.
The joint collaboration was first proposed by the Gwang-Seok Hong, member of South Korea’s National Assembly in June 2016.
The discussion focused on South Korea’s proposal for joint collaboration with the Philippine Department of Agriculture (DA).
Hernandez warmly welcomed the MOU, saying that “Strengthening of collaboration with the NACF can greatly help in empowering local agricultural cooperatives and farmers’ associations in the Philippines.”
Kim assured Hernandez that the NACF looked forward to sharing its experience and knowledge with the Philippines as the NACF was instrumental in spearheading the modernization of South Korea’s agricultural sector and fostering economic growth in rural areas.
Under the MOU, the South Korean government, through the NACF and Saemaul Undong (New Community Movement), would assist Philippine agricultural cooperatives and farmers’ associations through the following projects:
Hardware Development Cooperation Projects- establishment of more rice processing centers and a cold-chain system;
Saemaul Undong Cooperation Projects – building model villages patterned after the highly successful Saemaul Undong and providing leadership training to agricultural cooperatives and farmers’ associations;
Software Development Cooperation Projects – providing infrastructure support to improve agricultural production and promote Smart Farming in rural areas; and
Exchange and Growth Cooperation Projects-filling the labor shortage in South Korea’s agricultural sector and expanding exchanges among