Catch the Price of Rice!
Catch the Price of Rice!
  • Jeong Ha-jin
  • 승인 2022.09.07 15:37
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  Unlike other food prices, rice recorded the lowest price in 45 years. This situation multiplied the anxiety of farmers. Last year rice traded at 55,000 won per 20kg but recently traded about 20% less at 44,000 won. A year ago, wheat was $284 per ton but recently increased 41.5% to $402. Rice and wheat are facing the opposite situation.
  Production becomes a cause. Korea should import 408,700 tons under the WTO agreement, and last year’s good harvest increased the amount of rice. Another reason is lack of demand due to low consumption. Domestic rice consumption has declined gradually by 71.2kg in 2011, and 56.9kg in 2022. Park Jae-hong, a professor in the Department of Food Economics and Service at Yeungnam University, analyzed that rice consumption in rice-based countries decreases due to increasing westernized diets. Korea’s rice consumption is decreasing twice as fast as Japan. It is irreversible for rice prices to fall due to high supply and low consumption.
  The government carried out a solution for an excess of 270,000 tons. The government or public institutions purchase rice to control prices when excess production is more than 3% or harvest season prices decrease more than 5% from the average year. This policy was conducted in February, May, and July. Nevertheless, farmers and experts criticize the policy as belated.
  The food security issue is urgent. Korea’s food self-sufficiency rate declined, and now reaching 45.8%. 93% of the problem is rice.  The Yeungnam Observer asked Professor Park if this problem could lead to other problems including insufficient supply and demand from the declining prices. He replied: “Currently, the short-term shortage and sudden farmers’ crop conversion will not occur. The rice consumption will not increase immediately, as well. If the rice prices decline long-term, farmers will change to alternate crops. When that time comes, we need to take measures against it.”
  The Observer asked Professor Park about solutions in which community members can participate. He mentioned: “More than anything else, we should consume more rice. Eating meals three times a day and consuming foods made of rice in necessary. Schools should try to organize school lunches by applying rice. Companies should try to develop products with rice. All of these efforts will support rice prices and continuing to rice.”


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