10 South Korea's Most Produced Agricultural Commodities

10 South Korea’s Most Produced Agricultural Commodities

10 South Korea’s Most Produced Agricultural Commodities- According to FAO Statistical Corporate Database (FAOSTAT), there are 10 South Korea’s most produced agricultural commodities. These commodities have huge production and can be used to fulfil the South Korea’s population.

South Korea is one of the most developed countries from Asia. This country has many popular industrial products including electronic products, automotive, and many technologies products.  Demographically, this country has more than 51 million people with Total GDP was around USD 2.9 trillion and GDP per capita around USD 56,708 according to IMF database.  Specifically, based on its contribution, service and industries still became the economic drivers in South Korea. The contribution of service and industries was 58.3% and 39.3%, respectively. Meanwhile agriculture sector just contributed around 2.2% (CIA, 2018).

10 South Korea's Most Produced Agricultural Commodities-2

Agriculture in this country just contributes to small amounts but the contribution of this sector cannot be ignored. The role of agriculture sector is to supply the basic source of food for all human of the world. So, it also helps to influence the human development and intelligence as providing the nutritional food. Furthermore, agriculture sectors still give the raw material to others sector.

Here is the rank of 10 South Korea’s most produced agricultural commodities in 2021. All the data came from FAO Statistical Corporate Database (FAOSTAT) in 2023.

The Rank of 10 South Korea’s Most Produced Agricultural Commodities

RankAgricultural Commodities From South KoreaProduction of Agricultural Commodities from South Korea in 2021
(Tons)
1Rice5,211,037
2Cabbage3,328,290
3Milk of Cattle2,034,384
4Onion and Shallots1,576,752
5Meat of Pig1,407,000
6Meat of Chicken935,000
7Tangerines, Mandarins, Clementines635,835
8Potatoes554,893
9Apples525,931
10Watermelons486,120
Source : FAOSTAT, 2023

Brief Description of 10 South Korea’s Most Produced Agricultural Commodities


1. Rice  

Rice still became the most produced agricultural commodities from South Korea in 2021. According to FAO Statistical Corporate Database (FAOSTAT), the production of rice from South Korea in reached 5,211,037 tons. Geographically, in South Korea, there are some central productions of paddy in South Korea. The main cultivation areas of paddy located in Jeonnam, Chungnam, Jeonbuk, Gyeongbuk, Gyeonggi, Gyeongnam. Furthermore, rice is still the staple food in South Korea with average consumption around 56 kg per capita per year.  Funtionally, it can be served in a bowl and can be processed into alcoholic beverages, and it is called “Makkoli”. 

2. Cabbage        

Cabbage is the most produced vegetables in South Korea in 2021. According to FAO Statistical Corporate Database (FAOSTAT), the production of Cabbage from South Korea reached 3,328,290 tons in 2021.  Geographically, the main production areas of cabbage can be found in several regions.  The locations of cabbage in South Korea located in Pyeongchang, Taebaek, Gochang, Muan, Haenam, and Jeju Island (Jae et al., 2012). Culturally, Cabbage is used in many dishes, including kimchi (a traditional fermented vegetable dish) with average consumption around 47.1 kilograms per capita per year.

3. Milk of Cattle

Milk of cattle also becomes one of the most consumed of beverages in South Korea.  The production of milk of cattle from South Korea reached 2,034,384 tons. In South Korea, there are more than around 5,400 dairy farms and Gangwon-do province still become one of the main production areas of cattle’s milk (Kim et al., 2017). Furthermore, there are some dairy leading companies in South Korea which has large market share of dairy products, namely Seoul Milk, Bingrae, Namyang Dairy Products, and Maeil Dairies (Ha-Won, 2022).

4. Onion and Shallots   

Onion and Shallots has huge production in this country. In South Korea, the production of onion and shallot reached 1,576,752 tons. Geographically, Short-day onion is mainly produced in Jeju and Geogeum Island and Intermediate-day onion production located in southern Korea (Lee et al., 2020). Based on its consumptions,  Onions are important ingredients in Korean cuisine and many Korean people consumed this around 40 kg per capita per year.

5. Meat of Pig   

Meat of Pig became one of the most consumed meats in South Korea and it was used to fulfil the need of proteins. According to FAO Statistical Corporate Database (FAOSTAT), the production of meet of pig from South Korea reached 1,407,000 tons in 2021. Based on the agricultural conditions, In South Korea, pork is the second largest farming sector of agriculture after rice (Oh and Whitley, 2011). Many South Korean cuisines used the pig as main ingredients, namely Galmaegisal, Moksal, Daeji galbi, Hanjeongsal, Ogyeopsal, Dwaeji galbi, Jeyuk bokkeum, Jokbal, and Bossam.

6. Meat of Chicken        

Statistically, the production of meat of chicken in South Korea reached 935,000 tons in 2021 according to FAO Statistical Corporate Database (FAOSTAT). Geographically, the main regions of chicken spread across in Jeollabuk-do (North Jeolla), Chungcheongnam-do (South Chungcheong), Gyeonggi-do, Gyeongsangbuk-do (North Gyeongsang), and Jeollanam-do (South Jeolla). Culturally, chicken meat used as main ingredients in some south Korean Cuisines, namely Dakjuk, Andong jjimdak, Samgyetang, Dakbokkeumtang, Dak Galbi, and Chikin.

7. Tangerines, Mandarins, Clementines

Tangerine, Mandarins, Clementines is one of the most produced fruits in South Korea. Statistically, the production of Tangerines, Mandarins, Clementines      reached 635,835 tons.  These fruits can be found mainly in Jeju Island, contributing 90% of tangerine production in South Korea.

8. Potatoes       

In South Korea, the production of Apples reached 554,893 tons. Geographically, as of 2022, according to Statistics Korea, total cultivated areas of potatoes reached 13 thousand hectares in 2022 with the main cultivation of spring potatoes located in Gyeongbuk (60,091 tons), Chungnam (56,963 tons), Gangwon (53,969 tons), Jeonnam (53,720 tons), and Gyeonggi (33,660 tons) (Statistics Korea, 2023).

9. Apples           

Apples in this country has production around 525,931 tons. Statistically, according to Statistics Korea, until 2023, total cultivated area of apples reached 33,911 ha. Furthermore, the main production areas of apples in South Korea located in Gyeongbuk (20,151 ha), Gyeongnam (3,768 ha), Chungbuk (3,753 ha), Jeonbuk (2,230 ha), and Gangwon (1,679 ha).  Most of apple fruits in this country was served as dessert.

10. Watermelons           

Watermelon also has huge production which is around 486,120 tons. Statistically, over 70% of the watermelon production in South Korea is managed in greenhouses (Park & Cho, 2012). Functionally, in this country, watermelon is used to make summer dessert drink, namely Subak Hwachae. Furthermore, the seeds of watermelon is also eaten as a snack in Korea.

The Summary of 10 South Korea’s Most Produced Agricultural Commodities

The Summary of 10 South Korea's Most Produced Agricultural Commodities


Bibliography of 10 South Korea’s Most Produced Agricultural Commodities

FAOSTAT. 2023. Top 10 Commodities Production in Republic of Korea 2021. Available at: https://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#rankings/commodities_by_country

International Monetary Fund (IMF). 2023. World Economic Outlook Database (South Korea). Available at : https://www.imf.org/en/Publications/WEO/weo-database/2023/October/weo-report?c=542,&s=NGDPD,PPPGDP,NGDPDPC,PPPPC,&sy=2020&ey=2028&ssm=0&scsm=1&scc=0&ssd=1&ssc=0&sic=0&sort=country&ds=.&br=1

FAOSTAT. 2023. Top 10 Commodities Production in Republic of Korea 2021. Available at: https://www.fao.org/faostat/en/#rankings/commodities_by_country

CIA.THE WORLD FACTBOOK (South Korea). Available at : https://web.archive.org/web/20210129003620/https://www.cia.gov/the-world-factbook/countries/korea-south/#economy

Jee, S. N., Malhotra, S., Roh, E. J., Jung, K. S., Lee, D. W., Choi, J. H., … & Heu, S. G. (2012). Isolation of Bacteriophages Which Can Infect Pectobacteirum carotovorum subsp. carotovorum. Research in Plant Disease, 18(3), 225-230.

Ha-Won, H. 2022. Seoul Milk takes independent action, begins ‘milk inflation’? Available at: https://www.sisajournal-e.com/news/articleView.html?idxno=287906

Kim, I. S., Hur, Y. K., Kim, E. J., Ahn, Y. T., Kim, J. G., Choi, Y. J., & Huh, C. S. (2017). Comparative analysis of the microbial communities in raw milk produced in different regions of Korea. Asian-Australasian journal of animal sciences, 30(11), 1643.

Lee, J., Moon, J. S., Kim, J., Park, G. O., Kwon, J. H., Ha, I. J., … & Chang, Y. H. (2020). Evaluation of onion cultivars as affected by bulb maturity and bulb characteristics of intermediate-day yellow onions in South Korea. The Journal of Horticultural Science and Biotechnology, 95(5), 645-660.

Oh, S. H., & Whitley, N. C. (2011). Pork production in China, Japan and South Korea. Asian-Australasian journal of animal sciences, 24(11), 1629-1636.

Statistics Korea. Production of Spring Potatoes in 2023. Available at https://kostat.go.kr/board.es?mid=a20102060000&bid=11712&act=view&list_no=427199.

Statistics Korea. 2023. Cultivated Area of Barley, Spring Potatoes, Apples and Pears in 2023. Available at https://kostat.go.kr/board.es?mid=a20102020000&bid=11707&act=view&list_no=426301 .

Park, Y., & Cho, S. (2012). Watermelon production and breeding in South Korea. Israel Journal of Plant Sciences, 60(4), 415-423.

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