Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

Annual shipments of domestically grown vegetables for processing top 1 million tons

TOKYO, Aug. 17 – Shipments of locally grown vegetables used for processed products and by restaurants are increasing in recent years, reaching 1.06 million tons in 2019, up 72,000 tons, or 7 percent, from the previous year, according to the agriculture ministry. The figure – the total for shipments of 14 varieties including cabbages, onions, carrots, green peppers and Chinese cabbages – is up 187,000 tons, or 21 percent, from 2014. The agriculture ministry has been taking measures to boost the shipments, with a target of expanding the annual total to 1.45 million tons by 2030. Demands of vegetables for processing and for restaurants have been rising, occupying 60 percent … Continue reading

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Fight against snapping turtles: Chiba Prefecture sets 800 traps to eradicate serious threat to farmers

CHIBA, Jul. 27 – Chiba Prefecture is strengthening efforts to eradicate wild snapping turtles by catching many in a short period. The foreign amphibians become active from May to September. So, the prefecture is setting approximately 800 turtle traps in rivers and agricultural canals in the Inba-numa area, in which the turtles’ population density is high. An estimated 6,500 turtles were roaming Chiba Prefecture at the end of FY2019. This year, the prefecture plans to catch 1,197 to reduce the population steadily. “What a haul! That’s beyond expectation!” In mid-July, three prefecture officials gathered at an agricultural canal in Yotsukaido City and screamed. The snapping turtle population density in the … Continue reading

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15 social media connected farmers rush to help NohTuber’s flood water damage restoration in Hiroshima Prefecture

HIROSHIMA, August 26 -When the downpours that started on August 11 hit the greenhouses of a 51-year-old farmer in Akitakata City, Hiroshima Prefecture, he had a bunch of social media connected friends, 15 of them mainly from Hiroshima, to come and help his restoration work. The farmer, Koji Okada, is a YouTuber, or NohTuber (“Noh” means agriculture in Japanese), who usually talks about all the good things about being a farmer on the online video-sharing site. This time, however, he posted a report on the severe water damage. Then, his friend NohTuber saw the video and called on his friends on social networking services (SNS) to support Okada’s restoration works. … Continue reading

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Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate drops to record low of 37 percent in fiscal 2020

TOKYO, Aug. 26 – Japan’s calorie-based food self-sufficiency rate fell to a record-low 37 percent in fiscal 2020, down 1 percentage point from a year before, due to weak demand for rice, the agriculture ministry said on Aug. 25. The figure tied with the rate marked in fiscal 1993 and 2018, when the nation had seriously poor rice harvests. It has become even more difficult for Japan to achieve its target of raising the food self-sufficiency rate to 45 percent by fiscal 2030. The nation’s food self-sufficiency potential indicator also worsened due to shrinking farmlands. The food self-sufficiency ratio, which indicates how much of domestic food supplies are covered by … Continue reading

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Heavy rain continues 7 days, destroys tea gardens in Ureshino City, Saga Prefecture

SAGA, Aug.19 – The heavy rain on Japan’s third-largest island started on August 11 and continued for a week by August 18. The deluge of an unprecedented level for this time of the year is causing devastating damage to the tea and other agricultural production in Kyushu. The rainfall continues on and off, making it hard to grasp the whole picture of the damage. In Ureshino City, Saga Prefecture, the total rainfall for the week (from August 11 to August 18, 9 p.m.) reached 1,171 millimeters. As of August 18, the city confirmed damages at 58 local tea gardens, including landslides and collapsed anti-frost wind machines. At two tea gardens … Continue reading

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