Back in the 1970s, Korean rice varieties had a reputation for tasting inferior to Japanese rice.
Since then, the country has developed local varieties that taste good and are resistant to disease and pests.
Most farms nationwide have switched to these new local varieties, …with the exception of some regions.
Japanese rice varieties make up 64 percent of rice grown in Gyeonggi-do Province …and 35 percent in Chungcheongbuk-do Province, …even if their output is lower than the output of local varieties.
The rice plants fall over easily and are prone to disease and attacks from pests.
"We have planted foreign varieties for a long time and they were purchased by the National Agricultural Cooperative Federation and other agencies."
By putting forward a variety of Icheon rice called "Haedeul," the government is looking to phase out Japanese varieties from the region.
The variety, developed by Korean researchers in 2017, has strong stalks and is more resistant to disease and pests.
A panel of experts and consumers tasted it and gave the variety favorable feedback.
"It's glutinous and chewy and has a nice texture in the mouth. It's tasty."
By increasing the supply of domestic rice varieties and developing a specialized production and distribution complex, …the Rural Development Administration looks to achieve 100 percent localization by 2022.
Park Se-young, Arirang News.