Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

65% of farmers hit by COVID-19, up 5 percentage points: The Japan Agricultural News survey

TOKYO, Oct. 7 – A survey conducted by The Japan Agricultural News in September showed that 65 percent of farmers who responded said they are either severely or slightly affected by the new coronavirus pandemic, up 5 percentage points from the previous survey conducted in April and May. The results reflect the fact that the impact of COVID-19 on agricultural business is becoming more far-reaching and long-term. In terms of types of farms, beef cattle breeders continued to be hit hard, with 100 percent of them saying they were affected, followed by 91 percent for beef cattle fattening farmers. Sixty-two percent of rice farmers said they were affected, up 13 … Continue reading

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Global temperature rise of 2 degrees brings crop losses worth $80 billion, research shows

TOKYO, Oct. 3 – A research team including the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) has released an estimate that if the world’s average temperature rose 2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial times due to global warming, it would bring about crop yield losses worth $80 billion, or 8.4 trillion yen, a year. The amount of damage to crop production is equivalent to the total value of the current soybean production in the United States and Brazil. The research shows that the losses could be reduced by 6.4 trillion yen if countermeasures are taken but the rest would remain, and calls for the need to develop and spread technologies to … Continue reading

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Exports of packed cooked rice post 23 percent year-on-year increase between January and July, as more people eat at home

TOKYO, Sept. 2 – Exports of packed cooked rice between January and July totaled 365 million yen, 681 tons in terms of volume, jumping 23 percent from the same period last year, according to the Finance Ministry’s trade statistics. The exports rose as more people eat at home amid the COIVD-19 pandemic and the good taste and convenience of packed rice have been increasingly recognized abroad. Exports of packed rice in July alone rose 40 percent to 65 million yen, backed by huge increases from a year before of shipments to major destinations including the United States, Hong Kong and Taiwan. An official of Wooke Co., Ltd., a packed cooked … Continue reading

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Yoshihide Suga, Japan’s new prime minister, launches his cabinet, with Kotaro Nogami as agriculture minister

TOKYO, Sept. 17 – Yoshihide Suga, 71, president of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, was chosen as Japan’s 99th prime minister at the extraordinary Diet session held on Sept. 16. Suga’s cabinet was officially launched after a ceremonial endorsement by Emperor Naruhito at the Imperial Palace. Kotaro Nogami, 53, former deputy chief cabinet secretary, was picked as the new agriculture minister, the first time for him to be appointed to a cabinet post. While Nogami has no experience serving in major agriculture-related positions in national politics and is an unknown quantity in the field, Suga apparently assigned him to the post, giving Nogami credit for his work supporting him and … Continue reading

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Export of black pine bonsai from Japan to EU possible from October 1

TOKYO, Aug. 31 – EU will lift the import ban on Japanese black pine bonsai miniature potted plants on October 1, 2020, with some conditions. According to Japan’s farm ministry, the plants must be grown and kept in places registered by Japanese plant protection agencies for two years before the export. Bonsai from Japan is quite popular in Europe, and the import ban lifting may lead to market expansion. EU has been prohibiting the import of black pine bonsai to stop the entry of pests and diseases. However, in March 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan requested the European Commission to lift the ban, based on … Continue reading

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