Some 2,400 foreign trainees and workers unable to come to Japan due to COVID-19 outbreak: farm minister

TOKYO, Apr. 29 – Some 2,400 foreign trainees and workers who were expected to work in the agriculture sector have been unable to come to Japan because of the COVID-19 outbreak, farm minister Taku Eto said at a news conference on April 28. In order to prevent farmwork from stagnating, the government will take measures to support farms secure workers using funds allocated in the fiscal 2020 draft supplementary budget, Eto said. The farm ministry included in the government’s draft supplementary budget an emergency measure to support farmers and agricultural corporations having difficulty securing workers because arrivals of foreign trainees and people with special skills have been disrupted to contain … Continue reading

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JA Fukuokashi collaborates with pizza delivery chain: hot pizza with fresh surprise gift of flower

FUKUOKA, Apr. 25 – How about a special treat of a flower for people having pizza delivery at home? A new collaboration between an agricultural cooperative in Fukuoka Prefecture (JA Fukuokashi) and a local pizza delivery chain has begun, and if you order a pizza for home delivery, you are also receiving a flower as a gift from the JA. The coronavirus outbreak hit flower demand in Japan, but on the contrary, the use of food delivery services is increasing as more people stay home. So, JA Fukuokashi decided to combine them to encourage more people to enjoy flowers at home and create new flower fans. The local co-ops have … Continue reading

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Old cherry blossoms in full bloom decorating agricultural heritage

KANAGAWA, Apr. 2 – A someiyoshino cherry blossom tree in full bloom stands right next to “Kuji Ento Bunsui” in Kawasaki City, Kanagawa Prefecture as if it’s looking into the water. The tree of approximately 90 years old has long been a witness to the cylindrical water diversion which used to support local rice farmers. This year, the blossoms started to bloom on March 15, 10 days earlier than usual. The water diversion is a facility to divide water for agricultural use into multiple directions. The cylindrical water divider in Kuji was built in 1941. The water drawn from the “Nikaryo Yosui” made in the Edo era used to overflow … Continue reading

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Number of community organizations supporting residents in rural areas top 5,000 in Japan

TOKYO, April 29 – The number of “regional management organizations” which organize projects aimed at solving issues regarding rural communities totaled 5,236 in 742 municipalities nationwide in fiscal 2019, the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications announced on April 28. Such organizations, which conduct activities to support local residents’ lives including encouraging interactions among elderly people, increased 449 from the previous year, topping 5,000 for the first time since the ministry started collecting data in fiscal 2015. The organizations are mainly created in each of the elementary school districts in agricultural and mountain villages and are operated autonomously by local residents to complement public services, organizing community networking events, community … Continue reading

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Covid-19 pandemic shatters Kobe beef and Tajima beef producers’ dream for Olympic boost Price per kilo dips below 2,000 yen

HYOGO, Apr. 20 – The cherry blossoms were in full bloom on April 13, 2020, in Shiso City, Hyogo Prefecture, in the upper reach of the Ibo River, the origin of hand-made Ibo-no-ito somen noodles. “The flowers are the same, but they look totally different from two years ago,” said Takahiro Taniguchi, a 58-year-old owner of Taniguchi Cattle Farm, which has been in business in Shiso for 29 years. Then, he turned his eyes to a piece of paper in his hand. It was the list of the bid prices of the meat sold by his colleagues today, and the numbers in the note are all in the upper 1,000-yen … Continue reading

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