Go to the epicenter of the high price of cabbage, high altitude cabbage fields

◀ anchor ▶

These days, the price soars to the extent that over 10,000 have been earned for one cabbage.

There is no sign of a drop in price to the point where the word ‘golden cabbage’ is being coined, and this is said to be because the amount of Chinese cabbage produced in high altitude areas has dropped significantly .

It is said to be because the abnormal climate phenomenon is spreading even to the cabbage fields, but reporter Ryu Hyeon-jun went to the site and checked it out.

◀ Report ▶

1,100 m above sea level. This is a cabbage field in the upland area of ​​Wangsan-myeon, Gangneung-si.

Chinese cabbage grows here, surrounded by mountains on all sides.

However, the vast cabbage field is a grim situation at first glance.

It is full of wilted cabbage and cabbage with yellow leaves.

The situation is worse for cabbage fields at lower elevations than this.

This is a cabbage field in an upland area in Jeongseon-gun, Gangwon-do, 670m above sea level.

When you look at the cabbage from a distance, it looks like it’s growing green.

If you look closely, the outside is dry and the size is less than a tenth of its normal size.

A typical high altitude Chinese cabbage weighs more than 3kg per bag.

However, the Chinese cabbage here weighs only 2-300g per leaf, and most of them die from disease.

The leaves are punctured and pulverized when touched.

[라상천/고랭지 배추 농민]

“I can’t eat this much. I can’t eat it.”

The high altitude cabbage fields below 800m above sea level are disastrous.

This cabbage field in Samcheok is at an altitude of 900m, so disaster has been avoided, but only half of the cabbage can be harvested.

[권영기/고랭지 배추 농민]

“This year, our neighborhood (truck) handled about 1,000 cabbages, but only about 500 were produced.”

The reason why high altitude Chinese cabbage has become like this is because of the strange summer weather.

This is the average summer temperature in Taebaek, Gangwon-do.

For over 90 days, 7 days have the highest temperature above 25 degrees.

However, this year, 64 days were above 25 degrees Celsius, and on June 22, the maximum temperature rose to 33.4 degrees Celsius.

It is a disaster for high altitude Chinese cabbage that likes cold weather.

If you suffer from severe stress, you will suffer from rot, which causes the leaves to become soft and infected with various viruses.

[고기윤/정선군 농업기술센터 기술연구과 팀장]

“What had an effect was the drought and high temperatures in May and June, and now there are many pests and diseases due to constant rain in July and August.”

This is a video experimented by the Global Warming Response Agricultural Research Institute.

It grows fresh between 14 and 20 degrees, but when it rises from 20 to 26 degrees, the leaves start to wither.

The extreme weather that hit the highlands was high, but it didn’t hit her.

This is a shop that specializes in selling kimchi in Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul.

We make kimchi by mixing high-altitude Chinese cabbage in Gangwon-do with various seasonings such as chives and red pepper paste.

However, there are many concerns about the rising price of cabbage.

The price has increased, but the cabbage is small and the condition is not as good as before.

[유예순/김치 판매 전문점 대표]

“This is more than ten thousand won. One bag. Before, it was this big, but it was so small and rotten.”

It goes without saying that as the price of materials rises, so does the selling price.

[양은정]

“Now that kimchi is the price of gold, I think we should eat it sparingly.”

The problem is that the temperature in the highlands continues to rise.

Heavy rains and summer droughts have also become more severe.

[고기윤/정선군 농업기술센터 기술연구과 팀장]

“You can think of it as the level of growing vegetables in high altitudes only when the elevation is more than 800m. The climate warms that much.”

If the temperature rises, it is predicted that by 2050, the area available for growing Chinese cabbage at high altitude will drop sharply to 7% of the current level.

Farmers unable to grow cabbage on high ground planted alternative crops such as apples in what used to be cabbage fields.

It takes 7 years for an apple tree to grow and become profitable.

There are many farmers who have increased debt because they are not making money immediately.

[김건영/사과 농민]

“Because the climate is not right, the process of growing cabbage is too expensive. We chose fruit trees to find a new way.”

Farmers want practical measures.

[정덕교/고랭지채소강원도연합회 회장]

“It doesn’t work at all. There’s no way farmers can solve this. But if it’s not covered by insurance, I don’t think insurance means anything.”

It is also necessary to accelerate the improvement of varieties and the development of cultivation technology that can withstand extreme weather.

This is Hyunjun Ryu from MBC News.

Video commentary: Dong-won Wi, Yang-ju Yang (Yeong-dong, Gangwon) / Video editing: Gom-geun

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