The Korea Herald


S. Korea to stabilize kimchi-making costs

By Choi Jae-hee

Published : Nov. 13, 2020 - 15:31

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South Korean Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom (Yonhap) South Korean Vice Finance Minister Kim Yong-beom (Yonhap)
South Korea‘s vice finance minister said Friday the government will stabilize the cost to make kimchi by expanding supplies of major vegetables and ingredients. 

“We are planning to extend the supply of vegetables in the market by employing either the government’s hoarded stocks for gimjang or those already purchased by local companies from agricultural farms under contract,” Kim Yong-beom, first vice minister of finance, said in a meeting with related officials to discuss innovative growth strategies held at the headquarters of the Korea Development Bank, Seoul. Gimjang refers the process of making kimchi.

Also, Kim vowed to lead the country’s major distribution companies to promote various sales events amid the annual kimchi-making season.
The remarks came as the wholesale prices of peppers sharply rose by 59.5 percent from an average year, as of mid-October. Conversely, the prices of cabbage and radishes fell by 26.7 percent and 25.6 percent from the previous week. The cost to make kimchi for a four-member household decreased by 3.4 percent on-week to 299,000 won ($267.90) as of Thursday, according to data from Korea Agro-Fisheries Trade Corporation. 

“The price increase for some gimjang vegetables is mainly due to this summer’s record-long monsoon season and subsequent crop failure,” he added. 

Meanwhile, the ministry has pledged to speed up its green projects to build a smart water supply system that integrates information and communications technologies. The move is part of the Moon Jae-in administration’s “New Deal” program, which aims to create jobs and develop the nation’s future growth engines in green and digital areas. 

The smart water management system will be equipped with an AI based flood forecast program, whereby its high-tech sensors automatically collects vast amount of weather information, including river level and precipitation, according to Kim. 

“The envisioned system will strengthen the nation’s ability to respond to unexpected climate changes, while providing high-quality water to residents through improved water management technologies,” he said. 

By Choi Jae-hee (