Government needs to bring up down to earth support for domestic onion farmers

강진성 기자l승인2020.05.26






▲ Samyoung Nongsan / CEO Choi Yoon-yeol

Samyoung Nongsan grows onions on a 760,330 farm, cabbages on a 760,330 farm, potatoes on a 297,520 farm and garlics on a 66,115 farm. The company runs all in one system for onions and distributes them to regional agricultural markets nationwide including Seoul, Busan and Daegu. Onions alone brings the company around yearly 10 billion won ($8.2 million) sales. 

CEO Choi Yoon-yeol starts a day at 3am. He was born to a poor family and grew up industrious. He went to Japan at 24 and spent 9 years and 6 months working on construction sites in Japan, Hongkong and Singapore. 

He inhaled stone dust during those years and he was diagnosed for pneumoconiosis. He went to his hometown Changnyeong County, South Gyeongsang Province, on October 2011 and established Samyoung Nongsan. 

Although he grew up poor, he is a man of generous heart. He has actively engaged in helping people in need and last year donated 15 tons of onions to Seoul Metropolitan City for underprivileged citizens. 

"It takes 11 months to harvest onions but the price fell heavily because the government imported onions from China and Japan from 3 years ago" complains Choi.

He says that it is really worrying that the government imports onions from Japan where radioactivity has been leaked. He also questions about China's awareness of handling food hygienically. Foreign workers going back home also affected onion farmers, he adds.

"The government needs to bring up rational measures for foreign workers to legally stay. Many farmers in South Korea are suffering from lack of hands."

However, Choi says, he is determined to work hard to grow quality onions and make contribution to improving the situation in South Korea's agricultural industry.

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