Mr. A, who runs a pig farm in Hongseong, Chungcheongnam-do, contacted the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs to apply for an environment friendly livestock farm as he has been managing and using livestock excreta more appropriately than any other farms nearby and controlling odors to the extent that there were even no complaints. However, he ended up giving up the application after hearing that his farm was difficult to be designated as it uses groundwater.
Mr. A’s story will no longer be the case, however, as appropriate management of livestock excreta and odor alone will sufficiently meet the requirements to be designated as an environment-friendly livestock farm from now on.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (Minister Chung Hwang-keun, MAFRA) announced the new standards for the designation of environment-friendly livestock farms by reflecting the actual conditions of the field and the public’s expectations.
Environment-friendly livestock farms are designated by the Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs for livestock farms that manage livestock pens in an eco-friendly manner and contribute to the proper management and use of livestock excreta in accordance with the Act on the Management and Use of Livestock Excreta (hereafter referred to as Livestock Excreta Act).
The environment-friendly livestock farm designation system has been put in place since 2009, but livestock farmers found it difficult to join easily, as the standards were somewhat stricter than the actual conditions of livestock farms. For example, even in the case of using underground water because it is difficult to use waterworks in a remote place due to odor, etc., the water quality standard for water supply had to be met, and the standard for securing the area of forage crops had been operated higher than the organic livestock farming certification standard.
In consideration of these points, MAFRA adjusted some of the standard items burdensome to farms to a reasonable level, while improving the designation standards by focusing on odor and livestock excreta management, reflecting the recent increasing demand from the public. In addition, additional points are given to farms that contribute to carbon neutrality by using energy-saving facilities and equipment, purifying excreta before discharge or making use of livestock excreta as solid fuel as well as manure and liquid manure.
MAFRA preliminarily applied the new standards to farms with excellent management among the farms that voluntarily participate in efforts to improve the livestock environment in the process of preparing designation standards (a campaign project titled ‘Clean Livestock Farms’), and as a result, it was confirmed that a considerable number of farms met the new standards.
Among cattle, pigs, and chicken breeding farms that have been designated as clean livestock farms, grazing ecological farms, and animal welfare livestock farms by MAFRA, if they meet the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point (HACCP), they can be designated as environment-friendly livestock farms without difficulty. Even with safety management certification alone, a farm that has no problems with livestock excretion management/use and odor management can get an advantage in designation.
Designated farms can receive 20%* more support from MAFRA under the livestock odor improvement project and eco-friendly livestock direct payment (for organic/antibiotic-free livestock products), and also support for distribution promotion and management consulting.
* (Livestock odor improvement project) Maximum of 500 million won based on total project cost (20%: out-ot-pocket expense, 20%: government budget, 50%: government-backed loan, 10%: local government budget) → 600 million won
(Eco-friendly livestock direct payment) Up to 30 million won → 36 million won
Livestock farms wishing to be designated must submit an application form and attached documents to MAFRA or the Livestock Environmental Management Institute. Once the application is received, designation will be made within 50 days through document review and on-site inspection.
Director Seo Jun-han of Livestock Environmental Resources Division of MAFRA, said, “We expect that the environment-friendly livestock farm designation system will be more widely used, as the designation standards have been improved by collecting various viewpoints of livestock farmers and the people, namely, producers and consumers. We ask the designated farms to take the lead in making the livestock industry more environment-friendly and practicing carbon neutrality in the livestock sector.”