SEOUL, April 13 (Korea Bizwire) — Bell peppers have become a major food product for local consumption and exports since they were first brought in from the Netherlands 25 years ago, agricultural data showed Friday.
As of end-2016, the average individual consumption of bell peppers measured 0.9 kilogram, more than a threefold jump from 0.28 kg in 2006, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said.
The cultivation area for the vegetable has grown from 424 hectares in 2010 to 724 hectares six years later, an increase of 70.7 percent. Production also spiked from 41,000 tons to 77,000 tons during the period.
Bell peppers, more commonly called “paprikas” in the country, were first brought to South Korea as seeds from the Netherlands in 1993.
Domestic consumption of the locally produced bell peppers reached 60.9 percent at the end of 2016, up from 50.9 percent in 2007. The vegetable has also increased in exports, reaching 35,000 tons in 2017 compared with 21,000 tons in 2012. The amount ranks it No. 2 after ginseng products among exports of fresh agricultural products.
Data showed that more than 90 percent of South Korea-produced bell peppers are exported to Japan.