The South Korean government decided to offer its rice for free to Myanmar and Cambodia in the first half of this year. The amount is 500 tons for Myanmar and 250 tons for Cambodia.
South Korean Minister of Agriculture, Food & Rural Affairs Kim Jae-soo said on April 13 that the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) Secretariat approved of the South Korean government’s plan on April 11.
The APTERR is the international rice reserve scheme that the 10 ASEAN member countries, South Korea, China and Japan established in March 2013 for a joint response to emergencies such as food crises in the region. South Korea became one of the members in 2013 and applied for its annual grant project for the first time recently.
“South Koreans’ eating habits have changed for years and this has led to a decline in rice consumption and a rice oversupply of 200,000 tons to 300,000 tons a year, which cannot be handled without large costs,” the minister explained, adding, “The South Korean government will deal with this problem and contribute to humanity at the same time via the APTERR and the Food Assistance Convention it recently acceded to and by offering at least 50,000 tons of rice a year from next year onwards.”