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Title: Impacts of rural development policies on farm households in South Korea
Author: Jung, Yong Ho
ISNI:       0000 0004 6352 4100
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2016
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Following an increase in the openness of the South Korean economy since the mid-1990s, farm households have experienced a decrease in their real farm incomes. Hence, over the last decade the Korean government has adopted a variety of rural policy measures, which mostly support community enterprises, to increase the non-farm incomes of farm households and to support rural development. The aim of this study is to explore the major impacts of some key rural development policy measures that aim to boost non-farm activities of farm households in South Korea. This research employed a combination of both quantitative and qualitative techniques. First, an exploratory online survey of farmers provided insights into the most helpful rural policy measures across different regions. Then, face-to-face interviews with 14 key informants helped to narrow the focus of the study down to four main policy measures. Finally, face-to-face in-depth interviews with 48 farmers were used to explore the impacts that these measures have had on farm households and the communities to which they belong. Findings from this study reveal that these four policy measures have all succeeded, to varying degrees, in promoting farmers‟ participation in community enterprises. This in turn has led to an increase in household incomes and also to a range of non-financial benefits such as improved skills and better access to social networks. Community enterprises that are supported by rural development policies are argued to be more successful when supported by effective partnership and leadership, along with appropriately designed support services. The support services currently offered by these policy measures are generally found to be less helpful than improvements to physical assets and in some cases they appear not to respond to the needs of the community businesses that they seek to help. Farm households with higher levels of assets are found to benefit more from these measures and access to financial capital is found to be particularly influential in this respect. This study recommends that the design of future rural policies could be improved to increase participation in community enterprises by making them more accessible to households that do not have the financial means to support co-financing and by including a range of measures (e.g. around partnership, capacity building and advice) designed to improve their impact on rural livelihoods.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs in South Korea
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available