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Rice output at half-century low in 2020 on bad weather

All News 12:00 November 12, 2020

SEOUL, Nov. 12 (Yonhap) -- South Korea's rice output fell to the lowest level in 52 years in 2020 as a record-long rainy season and typhoons in the summer hampered production, data showed Thursday.

The country's rice production came to 3.51 million tons this year, down 6.4 percent from 3.74 million tons last year, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea.

It marked the lowest level since 1968, when South Korea produced 3.2 million tons of rice.

It also marked the fourth straight year of the country's yearly rice production staying below 4 million tons.

The reduced output came as a long rainy season and typhoons reduced the number of sunny days and hurt the growth of grains, according to the statistics agency.

South Korea underwent a record-long rainy season this year that began June 24 and lasted for 54 days in the central part of the country. The country was also hit by powerful typhoons, including Typhoon Maysak and Haishen, until September.

The fall in rice output was also attributed to a steady decline in cultivation areas, the data showed.

The combined size of rice paddy areas reached 726,432 hectares this year, down 0.5 percent from a year earlier.

Rice is a key staple food for Koreans, but its consumption has been steadily declining in recent decades due mainly to changes in diet.

This undated file photo shows a rice paddy. (Yonhap)

sooyeon@yna.co.kr
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