The government has decided to purchase an additional 450-thousand tons of rice during the harvest season this year as it seeks to prevent rice prices from plummeting.
According to the agriculture ministry on Monday, 450-thousand tons of rice will be purchased as public reserves, a sharp increase from the 350-thousand tons bought last year, resulting in a total purchase of 900-thousand tons of rice.
This latest volume comes on top of the 450-thousand tons the government earlier announced it would buy in an attempt to stabilize prices through market isolation, the largest amount since 2005.
The Rural Development Administration under the agriculture ministry had forecast that this year's rice harvest would be about as strong as last year, which could result in an oversupply considering the recent decline in rice consumption with changing diets and eating habits.
The ministry is expected to take further action to stabilize prices once Statistics Korea confirms this year's rice production numbers next month.