Contributed by Drew Pigott, BSEI Field Services Coordinator
I had the privilege to travel to Jeju Island and JinJu, South Korea for a couple of weeks. This was my first time to travel to South Korea where I had the opportunity to introduce products containing SumaGrow® to a large and diversified audience.
South Korea's agriculture has many inherent challenges. South Korea is a small, mountainous country-about the size of Indiana- with only 22 percent arable land and less rainfall than most other neighboring rice-growing countries. Currently, South Korea is home to about 49 million people and is one of the fastest industrializing countries in the world. This has resulted in a dramatic decline in agriculture.
I began the trip at Jeju Island, an island just south of mainland South Korea, at the 2015 Jeju International Citrus expo. At Jeju I spoke with citrus producers from around the world and spoke on the immediate and long term benefits of using products containing SumaGrow® to increase their production while reducing input costs. Citrus consumers place high value on fruit quality- taste, smell, shelf-life- so producers were most interested in increasing their fruit quality as well as maximizing production. This is something we have seen time and again from crop to crop around the world. As farmland degrades, so does the crop quality. Ensuring a healthy and vibrant community of soil microorganisms must be part of any successful farm management system.
The second leg of the trip involved was to the JinJu 2015 International Agricultural & Food Expo in JinJu, South Korea which is located in the south central region of the Korean peninsula. This area is known for its agricultural innovation and high production from small acreage.
The JinJu International Agricultural & Food Expo is enormous and was rumored to have 600,000 people pass through its gates in the five days I was there this year! Never have I had the distinct pleasure to speak with producers from all over the world in such a culturally diverse melting pot of talent regarding such a wide range of crops. With the success we have seen in 2015 we cannot wait to see what 2016 holds!