S-Space College of Social Sciences (사회과학대학) Institute for Social Development and Policy Research (사회발전연구소) Development and Society Bulletin of the Population and Development Studies Center Vol.14 (1985)
Peasants Go to Town: The Rise of Commercial Farming in KOREA
- Chang, Yun-Shik
- Issue Date
- Bulletin of the Population and Development Studies Center, Vol.14, pp. 45-59
- To most observers the development of Korea in the 60s and 70s is rather closely associated with a phenomenal growth of manufacturing industry which, measured in GDP, sustained an increase rate of 15 percent per annum. But concomitant agricultural expansion remains largely unnoticed. Though not quite comparable in numerical terms, the agricultural sector also witnessed in that period considerable increase of productivity. While maintaining the increase rate of productivity at 3.5 percent per annum, the production processor the mode of production, if you will-also underwent significant structural transformation. Peasants or peasant households now produce more than they consume; the production of surplus enables them to sell an increasing proportion of their products at the markets for profits. The growing concern with profit seeking has at the same time been reinforced by a gradual shift to the production of cash-crops intended primarily for sale rather than for consumption. This transition marks a turning point in the agrarian history of Korea in that the chronic concerns of the peasant with subsistence are giving way to those with profit seeking. In Redfield's terminology the Korean peasant is slowly becoming the farmer. In this paper, an attempt will be made to document and offer an explanation for the rise of commercial farming and attendant change in peasant marketing patterns.