The South Korean government said Friday it has decided to mark up the purchase price of rice set aside for emergency reserves to better help local farmers.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs said it decided to set this year's price for a 40-kilogram sack of rice at 67,050 won ($59.76), up 27.5 percent from last year's 52,570 won.
The government purchased rice from farmers over the October-December period by initially providing 30,000 won per sack in line with its standing reserve policy. It plans to make up the difference within the end of this month.
The agricultural ministry added it completed the purchase of 350,000 tons of rice earmarked for 2018.
The raise is expected to improve the earnings of local farmers, it added.
The emergency reserve system is designed to store staple grains as a contingency against natural disasters or other food supply crises. The government normally purchases around 17 to 18 percent of the annual consumption amount, about two months worth, as backup. (Yonhap)