A growing number of farmers in Korea have been using technology on so-called smart farms to grow fruits and vegetables under contract meaning they have a buyer already.
But it appears they've been so successful in growing high-quality produce that they're going to need platforms to connect them to more more buyers like restaurants and ordinary consumers.
Lee Eun-jin has this story.
This company started a new sustainable agriculture and aquaponics system in 2019.
In line with the launch of smart farming, BANDI started making healthy lunchbox salads.
The fresh vegetables supplied for the salads came from a cultivation contract with smart farms.
Last year, BANDI made roughly 7.3 million U.S. dollars in sales.
"We tried a low-calorie salad and received positive feedback from the consumers. We're growing together."
This farm produces European vegetables like ezabel and butterhead lettuce
We may not be too familiar with these kinds of vegetables, but they are not highly priced rare food items.
Farms that supply these greens are able to get a stable income from companies that put together eco-friendly salads.
"There used to be a time when we had to throw away vegetables if we couldn't make sales. But contracted cultivation has been beneficial since we can ship out everything we produce right away."
Smart farm agriculture has expanded from just 4-hundred locations in 2014 to some 6-thousand locations in 2020.
Many of these smart farms are under contracted cultivation, but now the market faces concerns that it is producing too much fruit and vegetables.
"We plan to support the development of various products and the expansion of contract cultivation, as well as looking for potential consumers like school meal suppliers or military provisions suppliers."
In order to keep up with these smart farms and their rapidly increasing production of such high-quality vegetables,
it's becoming urgent to secure a market for this produce perhaps using it for processed foods as well.
Lee Eunjin, Arirang News.