Archived Webinar

Digital Ag Series: Fostering Digital Agriculture Ecosystems and Smart Farming in Korea - Case of Smart Farm Innovation Valleys

"The invention and dissemination of new digital agriculture practices will be the new strategy for South Korea to break through the crisis caused by the aging population and climate change."

The transition to digital agriculture in South Korea is inevitable since it has faced the rapid shrinkage of rural communities. Approximately 46% of the farm household population are older than 65 years old and this indicates not only the aging population itself but also the possible risk in food security. Climate change is also one of the major challenges that the agriculture sector is facing while it has threatened the stable production of crops, and makes it difficult for farmers to predict and deal with meteorological disasters.

South Korea is well known as an information and communication technology (ICT) leader as has ranked in the top three of ITU's Global Information and Communication Technology(ICT) Development Index(IDI) in the past five years. The invention and dissemination of new digital agriculture practices will be the new strategy for South Korea to break through the crisis caused by the aging population and climate change.

The South Korean government has launched the "Digital Green New Deal Plan" (also known as the "Korean New Deal Plan") last September to boost the transition to the green and sustainable economy and scale-up data-driven smart agriculture.

To understand the transition to digital agriculture in South Korea, it is essential to make note of the several public institutions that have pioneered the data-driven agriculture ecosystem. Korea Agency of Education, Promotion and Information Service in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (EPIS) is a public agency under the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (MAFRA), which is in charge of promoting ICT knowledge convergence and value extension in rural areas and developing human resources for agriculture and fisheries. EPIS has participated in the plan for "Smart Farm Innovation Valley” which operates as an incubator and agri-data generating site to nurture young agri-entrepreneurs and promote smart agriculture practice.

National Information Society Agency (NIA) is a public agency is responsible for the overall implementation and support of the information of the nation and society. As its advanced technology and expertise accumulated over the years, NIA is engaging widely with ICT-related projects both domestically and overseas. Since 2009, NIA has carried out 47 technical assistance projects in over 40 countries, and especially the projects proceeded in Myanmar and Malaysia related to ICT smart farm solutions.

Understanding the implementation of digital agriculture in South Korea will be a great chance for fellow countries to learn about the knowhow of how South Korea has fostered the digital-oriented agriculture ecosystem; who are the key innovation incubators and how they interact; and the applicability of the digital agriculture model to other countries.

During this webinar, hear from the Korean agencies and their initiatives that promote digital agriculture and learn about the key innovations in technology that tackle the existing problems (e.g. aging population, climate change, the necessity of income improvement for farmers, etc.,).

About the Presenters

Parmesh Shah

Global Lead for Data-Driven Digital Agriculture, Agriculture and Food Global Practice, World Bank

Parmesh Shah is the Global Lead for Data-Driven Digital Agriculture at the World Bank. He provides leadership to the Bank’s work in these areas and supports the development of global knowledge and learning in these areas to offer solutions to clients and other development partners. His current areas of interest are economic and social organizations and networks of the poor, making markets and public services work for the poor, social entrepreneurship, digital and data-based innovations in agriculture and rural development, promotion of on-farm and off-farm jobs, and public-private and people partnerships for rural poverty reduction. He is currently involved in developing a regional program on scaling up digital agriculture in the Africa region, involving setting up ecosystems for entrepreneurship and incubation. He holds a D Phil in Development Studies from the Institute of Development Studies at the University of Sussex, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, and a B Tech degree in Agricultural Engineering from Pantnagar in India.

Ms. Youngki Hwang

Director, International Agriculture Cooperation Department, Korea Agency of Education, Promotion and Information Service in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (EPIS)

Ms. Youngki Hwang is an international development professional with experiences over 15 years in EPIS (Korea Agency of Education, Promotion, and Information Service in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries). She started her career in ICT and public relations in agriculture. From 2012, she had been a manager in the International Trade & Cooperation Team. Since 2018, she has been in charge of EPIS’ ODA projects in developing countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia, along with the project - "Improving Productivity through Smart Greenhouses in the Philippines and Producing High-quality Tomatoes."

Dr. Jeonghwan Park

External Specialist, Department of Global ICT Consulting Team, National Information Society Agency

Dr. Jeonghwan Park majored in Data Science and has a wealth of experience in developing and supplying various artificial intelligence solutions and services based on extensive expertise and experience in big data related to agriculture and food. In particular, he has long served as an advisory committee member for various policies of the Korean government related to Smart Farming and has led many global agricultural projects. The recent global AgTech project target countries are Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Malaysia, and UAE. He has developed ICT convergence solutions for 29 types of crops over the past 17 years and has accumulated a track record of providing services to 1,200 Agricultural companies and agricultural management entities. In particular, he is focused on commercializing urban agricultural business models (CityFarm) in response to climate change. Prior to the experience, he also served as an adjunct professor at Chungju National University and Kwangwoon University.

Mr. Sanghun Lee

External Specialist, Department of Global ICT Consulting Team, National Information Society Agency (NIA)

Mr. Sanghun Lee is an agricultural ICT specialist focusing on smart farming with experience of over 16 years in EPIS (Korea government Agency of Education, Promotion, and Information Service in Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) and 2 years in Agro Solution Korea. He currently consults for smart farms and ODA projects in Asia and Africa. He planned and promoted smart farm projects for ASEAN countries through the KOICA (Korea International Cooperation Agency) for the first time in Korea in 2017. Currently, as a consultant specialized in smart agriculture and ICT of NIA, he has conducted many feasibility studies on the application of smart farms in Sri Lanka, Vietnam, and Myanmar.

Ms. Jeehye Kim

Senior Digital Agriculture Specialist, Agriculture, and Food Global Practice, World Bank

Ms. Jeehye Kim is a Senior Digital Agriculture Specialist at the World Bank where she leads and carries out World Bank missions to client countries in the Africa region. Her work includes advising WB’s clients to use digitally-enabled approaches to increase their agricultural projects’ success in sustainable and scalable ways. Applications include mobile-enabled agriculture extension services, mobile money, e-vouchers for agricultural inputs, market price and weather information systems, as well as applications to help smallholder farmers’ access to markets and services. She also builds relationships with industry leaders, executives, development partners, and stakeholders to advance disruptive and digital agricultural technology initiatives, in support of World Bank projects in client countries. Prior to joining the World Bank in 2011, Jeehye worked in both the public and the private sector in Korea and the U.K., respectively. In the private sector, she built expertise in consulting for the high-tech and telecom sectors, as well as electronic commerce and e-government. Jeehye holds a Master’s degree in Economics from the University of Glasgow.

Ms. Eun Joo Yi

Senior Environmental Specialist, ENB SAR unit, World Bank

Ms. Eun Joo Yi was formerly a program manager of the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund - an innovative, implementation-focused trust fund devoted to supporting World Bank staff and clients to design, plan, and implement green growth initiatives, strategies, and investments. The trust fund’s focus on operational expertise worked to improve economic and resource efficiency, build greater resilience to extreme weather and natural disasters, and increase competitiveness. Prior to joining the World Bank, Eun Joo consulted for the IFC Advisory Services (WBG) on resource efficiency and clean energy.  Before moving to Washington DC, she lived in Norway and Russia working on projects related to international science & technology diplomacy, climate, energy, and the environment.  Her broad global experience ranges from a Norwegian engineering firm, ISTC working with the US EPA and State Department, and Pfizer Inc.  She is a US national and received her undergraduate from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and her graduate degree from Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. 

Questions Submitted


- Oct 25, 2022
The smart agriculture innovation is a right response to the ageing population involved in traditional farming activities by expecting improved productivity and increase income. In the same way, the smart agriculture allow to the smallholder farmers to receive directly financial subsides from Government bringing incentives to the young farmers replacing more and more ageing farmers.


- Nov 28, 2021

Mahaman Mourtala

- Sep 18, 2021


- May 7, 2021

jose luis

- Apr 25, 2021
La transición a la agricultura digital en Corea del Sur debe replicarse en Suramérica y como parte de estar a la par de los ODS del hambre cero, ya que sur americana cuenta con una población relativamente muy emprendedora y motivada esto indica que es una población pujante habida de conocimiento. El cambio climático es también uno de los principales desafíos a los que se enfrenta el sector agrícola, también el posible riesgo en la seguridad alimentaria al tiempo que ha amenazado la producción estable de cultivos y dificulta a los agricultores predecir y hacer frente a los desastres meteorológicos.

Lynn Ioana

- Apr 25, 2021
very very interesting

Mohammad Nadir

- Apr 25, 2021
Excellent discussion!
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