Kimchi Crisis Hits South Korea:Napa Cabbage Shortage, Prices Soar
Shortage Of Napa Cabbage Causes Kimchi Prices To Soar In South Korea
Imagine if Ketchup or Salsa prices in the USA skyrocketed all of sudden? Well, the much beloved Korean condiment Kimchi is the equivalent of Ketchup for many Koreans.
Right now, many people in Korea can't afford Kimchi which is made primarily from cabbage, because the price of Napa or Chinese Cabbage has shot up.
The cabbage crop in Korea was largely ruined by excessive September rains pushing to price of cabbage to upto $10 per head.
In response, the federal government last week announced a temporary reduction in tariffs on Chinese-imported cabbage and radishes in a plan to rush an additional 100 tons of the staples into stores this month.
And on Monday, the Seoul city government began a kimchi bailout program, in which it is absorbing 30% of the cost of about 300,000 heads of cabbage it has purchased from rural farmers so it can be sold for less to consumers.
Meanwhile government opposition parties are blaming a river restoration project for the cabbage prices and kimchi shortage
During the National Assembly’s annual audit, the opposition Democratic Party blamed the Lee Myung-bak government’s four-rivers restoration project for the cabbage shortage, saying 10,550 hectares of farmland adjacent to rivers disappeared during the project’s construction, and 8,181 hectares of fields once used as farms were no longer planted because they were inundated with dredged sediment.
The government says that is untrue because of the cabbage growing areas in Korea are on higher ground in the regions of Pyeongchang, Hongcheon, Samcheok of Gangwon and Mount Jiri in South Jeolla - and not in the four-rivers project lands.