A smart farm is basically an automated greenhouse that offers the best environment for crops. The temperature and humidity of farms are controlled automatically while operating solutions notify farmers of the status of crops and greenhouses in real-time. Because machines do the most work, it requires less manpower.
South Korea has tried to popularize smart farms and attract young farmers to the agricultural industry by providing subsidies and educational programs since 2017. Smart farms are considered an effective solution to tackle an aging population in the agricultural sector. The farming population is decreasing fast from 2.5 million in 2015 to 2.3 million in 2020.
North Jeolla Province said in a statement that a 300-hectare-wide complex called "Smart Farm Innovative Valley" was built in Gimje, a rice belt some 200 kilometers (656 miles) south of Seoul. The complex houses facilities such as an education institute, a technology demonstration site, greenhouses, and small smart farm modules for rent. Startups and students who received training will be given an opportunity to rent modular smart farms at a very low monthly fee.
The provincial government said that it would turn the complex into a foundation for the development of information communication technologies as well as artificial intelligence and big data technologies that will boost the development of smart agricultural techniques.
South Korea has exported its eco-friendly and energy-efficient farming technology to countries with harsh natural environments. N.thing, a Seoul-based smart farm technology startup, inked a $3 million contract with Sarya Holdings in the United Arab Emirates in May 2021 to supply vertical smart farming containers that use up to 98 percent less water compared to ordinary paddocks.
In October, South Korea's Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs finished the construction of a greenhouse-type smart farm that can withstand tough climate conditions in Kazakhstan. The smart greenhouse was built as a pilot project to promote South Korea's equipment, manpower and technologies and serves as a demonstration site for potential foreign buyers in the Middle East and Eastern Europe.
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