“Funding will be provided from this month to entrepreneurs who wish to settle in the villages,” said the Korea Forest Service in a statement on Sunday.
Requirements for the funding’s eligibility include those who have been engaged in forestry for less than five years or the ones who have received a dendrology education for at least 40 hours and have plans to move into the village within the next two years.
In other words, the eligibility refers to those who are in the business of distributing forest products or are pursuing a career in the forest welfare services.
Applicants who qualify can earn up to $260,000 per person. Provided as a loan, the interest rate is at 2 percent. The money can be spent to purchase land or other facilities.
Prospective applicants must submit their paperwork. If selected during the screening process, they will go through a formal interview process.
While there are no recent statistics to determine the population of people living in South Korea’s mountain villages, the Korean government estimates that the numbers has been rising in recent years. When the population in the villages was counted from 2010 to 2012, the number increased from 9,557 in 2010 to 12,376 in 2011 to 12,937 in 2012.
By Bang Hyun Kim