Rice production in South Korea is important to the food supply in the country, with rice being a common part of the Korean diet. In 2009, South Korea produced 3,899,036 metric tonnes (4,297,951 tons) of rice.
Rice is the most important crop in South Korea. As noted by Donald S. Macdonald, however, rising wage levels and land values have made it expensive to produce. Rice represented about 90 percent of total grain production and over 40 percent of farm income; the 1988 rice crop was 6.5 million tons. Rice was imported in the 1980s, but the amount depended on the success of domestic harvests. The government's rice support program reached a record US$1.9 billion in 1986, as compared with US$890 million in 1985. By raising procurement prices by 14 percent over the 1986 level, Seoul achieved a rice price structure that was about five times that of the world market in 1987.