- The general objective of this study is to analyze the production
and the consumption of food in Korea for the years 1955 through 1969
and to project them for the years 1970 through 1980. This study has
the following purposes;
(1) To examine the trend in food production and yield.
(2) To investigate the factors affecting food production and
(3) To project future food production and consumption.
(4) To examine how much food production can be increased by
changing from rice to other grain production in the rain-fed
and upland rice area and to examine what effect this
would have on domestic food supply.
(5) To project future food production and consumption if other
grain production were to replace rice in the rain-fed and
upland rice area.
Total food production increased by 60.6% during the period of
1955 to 1969. While the amount of food supplied domestically (domestic
food production plus change in stock) had increased by 42.9% the
amount of food consumed was found to have increased 92.5% during
the same period. It is shown that during the period of 1955 to 1969,
except for 1955, the amount of food supplied domestically lagged behind
the consumption of it and the gaps were filled by imports.
The food shortage gradually widened because of (1) rapidly
increasing population and (2) changes in income. Food shortages
were more crucial in the recent three years from 1967 to 1969. Food
shortage as a percentage of total food consumption in 1967, 1968, and
1969 was found to be 14.2, 19.0, and 23.6%, respectively. It was
estimated that the quantity of food supplied domestically should be
increased by 16.5% for 1967, 23.4% for 1968, and 31.0% for 1969
to achieve the self-sufficient food level at the market prices of those
According to the projections of aggregate production and consumption
of food, the average year by year food shortage would be
1,414,600 M/T during the period of 1970 to 1980. This is equivalent
to 13.05% of the total food consumption and the rate of self-sufficiency
would be 85.16%.
If rain-fed and upland rice areas, at least, were replaced by
other grain production such as potatoes, millet, and sorghum, which
require less water than rice, there is no doubt that more food could
be produced. Planted at the right time any of these crops would
produce more food volume than does rice under the present uncertain
weather conditions and poor irrigation facilities.
A considerable amount of gain can be obtained by replacing
the rain-fed and upland rice area by production of other grains,
assuming that the same production practices and input factors are
used and no change in prices took place. Under this assumption,
the average possible gain in production for 1955 to 1969 was found to
be about 141,000 M/T every year. This indicates that food production
could have been increased by 2.35% and the shortage of food could
have been reduced by 19.14% during the same-period.
The projected possible shortage of food during the period of
1970 to 1980 would be 1,190,800 M/T per year under the assumption
that some rice areas are converted to production of other grain.
This shortage is equivalent to 11.0% of the total food consumption
and the rate of self-sufficiency would be 87.79%. Under this assumption,
it was estimated that the shortage of food could be reduced by
223,800 M/T (15.8%) per year during the projection period.
Korea is not in a position at present and in the near future
(projected 11 years) to achieve a level of self-sufficiency in food
production. This is, like other developing countries, due to
insufficient irrigation facilities; inability of the government to maintain
an effective agricultural program; shortage of farm tools and
equipment; shortage of trained personnel; and agricultural research
organization; and to a shortage of fertilizer supply.
If self-sufficiency is desired, Korean people should change
the food consumption pattern from rice to other grain. The most
important solution to the food problem would be the pricing policy
in the food market and government participation in providing necessary
technical assistance and other production incentives needed by