The long-term prospects for agriculture were not encouraging.
Traditionally the peninsula's rice basket, South Korea had not
been self-sufficient agriculturally for many years. In the late
1980s, almost half the nation's foodstuff needs were imports,
mostly wheat and animal feed corn. Natural disasters compounded
the problems of farmers in the 1980s. As a result of these
factors, the share of the GNP provided by the agriculture,
forestry, and fisheries sector share of the GNP shrank 5.2
percent in 1987.
However, the situation was not totally bleak in the early
1990s. Although the purchasing power of the agricultural sector
had been declining since the early 1960s relative to other
sectors of the economy, the rate of agricultural productivity
increased in the 1980s. Livestock raising and rice cultivation
had come to dominate the agricultural sector over a variety of
traditional agricultural pursuits.
Data as of June 1990