South Korea to Expand Rice Processing Industry to $12.6 Billion by 2028

SEJONG – South Korea aims to significantly boost its rice processing industry, targeting a growth to 17 trillion won (US$12.6 billion) by 2028, the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs announced Tuesday. This ambitious plan seeks not only to double the current size of the industry but also to increase the export of related products to $400 million, a substantial rise from the $182 million recorded in 2022.

According to Yonhap News Agency, the rice processing sector encompasses a wide range of products, including steamed rice, lunch boxes, noodles, and spirits. To achieve these goals, the Ministry plans to collaborate with private businesses for the development of innovative products using floury rice. This initiative aims to substitute approximately 10% of South Korea's flour imports by 2027. Additionally, to bolster exports, the government intends to support 200 exporters specializing in rice products, facilitating their entry into international markets.

In an effort to promote these products globally, the Ministry will organize joint promotional events with popular K-pop artists. This move is part of a broader strategy to enhance the visibility and appeal of South Korean rice products on the world stage.

Domestically, the government will continue implementing the 1,000-won breakfast project for college students. This initiative is designed to encourage rice consumption among young people, contributing to healthier eating habits. In 2022, sales of ready-to-eat steamed rice products reached 935.6 billion won, representing 12.5% of the processed rice goods market in South Korea. The export of these products also saw a significant increase, rising by 31% to $75 million.

The Ministry's comprehensive strategy reflects South Korea's commitment to expanding its rice processing industry, promoting healthier lifestyles domestically while increasing its footprint in the global market.

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