In a landmark move to invigorate the agri-tech sector, the Korean Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs has unveiled a pioneering initiative: the Agri-Food Venture Fund, valued at over KRW 200 billion (USD 149 million). This fund aims to catalyze investments in burgeoning startups and companies within the agricultural and food industries.
The Agri-Food Fund is strategically tailored to nurture companies that leverage technology to enhance agricultural productivity and foster symbiotic relationships with domestic farms. Notably, the focus lies on innovations such as smart farm technology and initiatives aimed at bolstering farm income.
As of December last year, the agricultural and food sub-fund, amounting to KRW 1.7635 trillion (USD 1.32 billion), was established through a blend of private investments totaling KRW 775.5 billion (USD 581.5 million) and fund-of-funds investment amounting to KRW 988 billion (USD 740 million). A significant portion of this fund, totaling KRW 1.1502 trillion, has already been channeled into various ventures.
Minister Song Mi-ryeong, leading the charge in agri-tech growth, recently convened with representatives from three promising startups: Dallol Company, Gapjone, and Green. These companies have garnered investments from the Agricultural and Food Subsidiary Fund, underscoring the government’s commitment to their success.
Minister Song emphasized, “We are launching Ag·FoodTag (Agriculture) to facilitate private investors’ understanding of agricultural and food companies in Korea. Our goal is to fortify the investment landscape for food technology startups.” Additionally, plans are underway to enhance investment reports on the agri-food industry and establish the Agri-Food Investment Information Sharing Platform (ASSIST).
Dalol Company, situated in Gimpo, Gyeonggi-do, is among the recipients of the Agri-Food Fund. Renowned for producing gluten-free rice confectionery, Dalol Company achieved a groundbreaking milestone by securing Gluten Free Certification (GFFP) sanctioned by the Celiac Association of America. This certification underscores the company’s commitment to quality and innovation.
Gapjone, a frontrunner in the online flower distribution market, secured a substantial investment of 1.3 billion won from the Agricultural and Food Subsidiary Fund. Meanwhile, Green specializes in smart farm facilities, including tower-type vertical cultivation systems, and received a noteworthy investment of 700 million won from the same fund.
The announcement, made during the ‘Meeting with Young Entrepreneurs in the Agricultural Field’ at Dalol Company, marks a pivotal moment in South Korea’s journey towards agricultural innovation and sustainability. With the launch of the Agri-Food Venture Fund, the stage is set for a transformative wave of technological advancements and entrepreneurial endeavors in the agri-tech landscape.
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