South Korea's government and ruling party said Thursday they will submit a raised purchase price for harvested rice to the National Assembly.
The ruling Democratic Party and the government said it set the target price at 196,000 won ($175) per 80 kilograms of the staple grain harvested from 2018 to 2022, slightly higher than the originally proposed 188,000 won.
Agriculture minister Lee Gae-ho earlier said the price should be over 194,000 won to reflect the country's inflation rate over the past five years, while agriculture associations demanded the price be set at over 200,000 won.
The price is adjusted every five years to serve as a benchmark when the government calculates subsidies for local farmers. It needs parliamentary approval before taking effect.
In South Korea, the government annually purchases homegrown rice to stabilize a domestic market plagued by chronic oversupply and provide subsidies to rice farmers.
The supply glut comes as a growing number of South Koreans have been reducing their rice intake and diversifying their diets with alternatives like wheat, barley, beans and corn.
The government's rice stockpile reached 1.86 million tons in 2017, more than double the target level of 800,000 tons, the ministry said. It expressed concerns over the supply glut and the associated rise in storage costs. (Yonhap)