Category Archives: Farm Policy

Japan lowers 2018 rice production outlook by 1 point to 98

TOKYO, Dec. 11 ― Japan’s agriculture ministry has cut the 2018 rice production outlook by 1 point to 98, the lowest level in eight years, affected by weather conditions. Production outlook for table rice now stands at 7.32 million metric tons, down 2,000 tons from the October intended plantings and larger than a year earlier, the ministry said. The survey-based estimate of 2018 rice planted area was 1.38 million hectares, up 16,000 hectares above a year earlier. However, a drop in sunshine hours seems to have imposed a significant stress throughout some regions, including Niigata, Akita and Hokkaido prefectures, the ministry explained.

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Japan Diet approves FTA with EU; take effect in February 2019

TOKYO, Dec. 9 ― Japan’s upper house approved the Japan-EU Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) by a majority vote at a plenary session on Dec. 8, leaving farmers to greet the mega free trade agreement with a sense of dread. With the European Parliament and the EU council being set to ratify the deal by year-end, the deal will come into force on Feb. 1, 2019. The lower house gave its approval in late November. Legislative debates both at the lower and the upper houses totaled only nine hours. The deal will give EU food exporters greater access to the Japanese market, with products such as cheese and pork, and deliver … Continue reading

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TPP-11 kicks in on Dec. 30 for six countries, including Japan

TOKYO, Dec. 31 ― The landmark Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) without the U.S., also known as TPP-11, entered into force on Dec. 30, 2018, bringing steep tariff cuts to the first six countries that ratified the trade pact, including Japan, Australia and Canada. That will likely pose challenges for businesses that require Japanese farmers to increase competitiveness at home. Vietnam will officially enter the pact on Jan 14, 2019, while Brunei, Chile, Malaysia and Peru will come on board 60 days after they complete their ratification procedures. With the TPP-11, tariffs were slashed to zero overnight for some products, while others will be reduced over a period of up to 20 … Continue reading

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Climate change to cut crop output, cost $42 bln a year: report

TSUKUBA, Dec. 12 ― Climate change will lower average global output on key crops such as wheat, soybeans and maize, causing an annual loss of 42.4 billion dollars, according to a Japanese report that studied climate impacts on staple crops. The Tsukuba-based National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), together with the National Institute for Environmental Studies and the Meteorological Research Institute, released the report on Dec. 11. The report highlighted the agriculture sector is vulnerable to climate change and it’s now seen much more as an economic issue than a narrow environmental one. Maize production would have a loss of 22.3 billion yen a year, the biggest loser among … Continue reading

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Japan’s gross agricultural production totals 9.3 trillion yen in 2017, marking three consecutive years of increase amid recovery in rice prices

TOKYO, Dec. 26 – Japan’s gross agricultural output totaled 9.2742 trillion yen in 2017, up 0.8 percent or 71.7 billion yen from the previous year, increasing three years in a row, the agriculture ministry said on Dec. 25. The farm production marked the largest amount since 2000 in terms of value. One of the main factors behind the increase was the recovery in prices of rice for human consumption, as many rice farmers shifted to production of rice for feed. However, decline in farm population and aging of farmers remain a problem, indicating an urgent need to strengthen the nation’s farm production. The 2017 output topped 9 trillion yen as … Continue reading

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