Heavy Rains Drown Korea's Breadbasket

  • By Choi Jong-seok

    August 10, 2020 13:32

    Torrential rains have been pounding Korea's breadbasket region of South Jeolla Province since Saturday, inundating huge areas of farmland.

    According to the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, 24,387 hectares of farmland have been inundated across the country as of 2 p.m. Sunday. The hardest hit were North and South Jeolla provinces, followed by South Chungcheong Province, Gyeonggi Province and North Chungcheong Province.

    Farmland in Changnyeong, South Gyeongsang Province is flooded on Sunday. /Newsis

    Rice farms suffered the most, accounting for 85 percent of inundated farmland, followed by vegetable farms and field crops.

    A staggering 1.4 million heads of livestock are estimated to have died in the floods, mostly chickens.

    Cows stand on the roof of a house in Gokseong, South Jeolla Province on Sunday, as floods recede. /Yonhap

    Vegetable prices are surging. Consumer prices in Korea edged up 0.3 percent in July, according to Statistics Korea, shifting to growth for the first time in three months and are expected to rise even further in August.

    But the government does not expect rice prices to rise too steeply. Kim Jung-hee at the ministry said, "Problems only happen when the ears of rice are completely submerged for a day or two, but the rice crops haven't fully developed in southern parts, so we don't expect major problems in this year's harvest."

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