While the worst drought in a century has come to an end (but not the heat and there are problems with electricity too) in Korea, over half the counties in the United States has now been declared a disaster zone due to drought. Though the problem of watering crops is still a concern here, there is now also the worry over food prices that could cause “agflation”, due to the drought in America, since this drought will affect the price of grains and other foods, which some believe to be of greater concern than deflation in Korea. There are fears that the shortage could be as bad as the food shortages of 2008, which were due mainly to demands from China and India. Current “agflation” could cause more stress and strain on low-income households here, thus there are plans to address this from the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. There are 73 South Korean companies farming on a little over 23,000 hectares of land in 18 countries, however almost none of this produce is sold in South Korea due to the high tariffs (up to 500 percent!) (cite) Currently more Korean money is being used to buy farm land in places like Australia, using shell companies, trusts and other arrangements to hide foreign ownership. Korean ownership in Australian farmland has reportedly more than doubled within the last twelve months.
As noted before, South Korea and other countries will continue to look for farm land overseas to directly meet their food needs, however, as global warming takes effect and more instances of drought occur that lead to localized food shortages, the future could easily see the advent of “food wars and political upheaval”. As one investment specialist puts it, “The droughts afflicting farmers in the US and the subsequent spike in food commodity prices are just forerunners to the climate-change fallout that will see many food-importing developing countries struggle to feed their populations” (cite).