South Korea’s rice output is expected to drop below the 4 million-ton mark for the first time in over three decades, due mainly to bad weather conditions in the harvest season, government data showed Tuesday. The country’s rice production is expected to come to 3.96 million tons this year, down 5.8 percent from 4.2 million tons in 2016, according to the data compiled by Statistics Korea. The last time the total fell short of 4 million tons was in 1980 when the country’s rice output stood at 3.55 million tons. The statistics office said unfavorable weather conditions during the planting and harvesting seasons is largely behind the weak number this year. It added that the decline in the cultivation area for rice also contributed to the fall. The country’s rice acreage declined 3.1 percent on-year from 778,734 hectares in 2016 to 754,716 hectares this year as the government has been pushing to control rice production in order to deal with a chronic glut of the staple grain.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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