SEJONG, Nov. 14 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s rice output fell to the lowest level in nearly 40 years in 2017 amid the government’s efforts to tackle the yearslong oversupply of the staple grain, data showed Tuesday.
The country’s rice production reached 3.97 million tons this year, down 5.3 percent from 4.2 million tons produced in 2016, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.
It marked the smallest amount since 1980 when it hit 3.55 million tons.
A total of 754,713 hectares of rice paddies was cultivated this year, down 3.1 percent from last year.
The South Korean government has been pushing to control rice production in order to deal with a chronic glut of the grain as people’s taste becomes increasingly westernized.
Some 3.7 million tons of rice is expected to be consumed this year, with rice production exceeding demand for nearly 300,000 tons.
Earlier, the South Korean government said it will purchase 720,000 tons of rice harvested this year to stabilize domestic market prices.