South Korea will push to significantly raise the self-sufficiency rate of grain products over the next few years to counter high food prices and food security concerns, officials said Sunday.
South Korea plans to locally supply 30 percent of its overall grain consumption by 2015, revising up its earlier target of 25 percent set in 2006, the Ministry for Food, Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said.
The country also raised the domestic production target of the three most consumed grain products -- rice, wheat and barley. The self-sufficiency rate for the three grain products will be 70 percent by 2015, compared with its earlier target of 54 percent, the ministry said.
The revision comes as climate change, bad harvests and rises in demand caused global grain prices to jump 2.5 fold from 2005 to this year, raising concerns about food security.
South Korea consumes an average of 20 million tons of grain per year but is only self-sufficient in rice. Local production of wheat and other grains stands at around 10 percent of demand.
The country produced 4.9 million tons of rice last year, but combined production of wheat, corn, beans and cereals reached 510,000 tons.
The government raised targets of the self-sufficiency rate for other cereals as well. The wheat self-sufficiency rate will be 10 percent in 2015, while the fodder self-sufficiency rate was set at 41.2 percent.
By 2020, South Korea's grain self-sufficiency rate will likely reach 32 percent, the ministry added.