SEOUL, March 30 (Korea Bizwire) — Rice production costs in South Korea rose 9.3 percent on-year in 2022 due mainly to soaring prices of fertilizers, causing net profit from rice farming to sink nearly 40 percent, data showed Thursday.
Farmers spent 31,631 won (US$24.24) to produce 20 kilograms of rice last year, up 2,689 won from a year earlier, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
The cost of cultivating rice on a 1,000-square-meter paddy also jumped 7.9 percent on-year to 854,461 won last year.
The growth in costs came as fertilizer prices needed per 1,000-square-meter paddy spiked 71.4 percent on-year to 89,083 won on soaring global raw material prices last year, while rice output inched down over unfavorable weather conditions, according to the statistics agency.
Accordingly, net income of rice farmers reached 317,000 won per 1,000-square-meter paddy in 2022, down 36.8 percent from the previous year. Last year’s figure is the lowest since 2017, when net profit stood at 283,000 won.
Rice is a key staple food for Koreans, but its consumption has been on a steady decline in recent decades due mainly to changes in diet and eating habits.