Category Archives: Food & Agriculture

Premium grape variety grown in Ishikawa found to be registered in South Korea

ISHIKAWA, Aug. 19 – The Ishikawa Prefectural Government said that Ruby Roman, a high-grade grape variety grown exclusively in the prefecture, has been registered as a trademark in South Korea in 2019 and 2020 by an unidentified person. Application for a variety registration in South Korea, which could have been taken as a countermeasure, is no longer possible because the period for filing the application overseas for the variety has expired, leaving growers with no options. The prefectural government is aiming to take stronger measures to prevent illicit outflow of seeds and saplings from the country or overseas distribution of products using the name Ruby Roman, making use of the … Continue reading

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Wagyu beef production shows 6 percent year-on-year rise in 2020

TOKYO, Aug. 10 – Production of wagyu beef totaled 161,000 tons in 2020, up 9,000 tons, or 6 percent, from a year before, according to a survey by the agriculture ministry. The volume of production increased for four years in a row since 2017 and the ministry attributes the rise to the livestock producers clustering program that helped empower farmers’ businesses. In 2018, the ministry set a target of doubling the annual wagyu production from some 150,000 tons at the time to 300,000 tons in 2035 and has been taking measures to achieve the goal. Due to the decline in the number of breeding cows following the 2010 foot-and-mouth disease … Continue reading

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Avoid accident! Japan’s firm ministry using virtual reality to call for safe work practices

TOKYO, August 9 – The farm ministry of Japan has recently created virtual reality (VR) videos that offer a virtual experience of accidents in the agriculture, forestry, fisheries sectors, and the food industry. These industries have higher accident rates than others, and the videos aim to raise safety awareness further. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) also anticipates using the movies in training by prefectures and local agricultural cooperatives. MAFF produced six 3-minute VR videos on accidents in four sectors-livestock, food manufacturing, wood, and fishing-in collaboration with private companies. For example, the video for the livestock industry workers offers a virtual experience of a cow attack that broke … Continue reading

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Norinchukin Bank to establish an investment subsidiary

TOKYO, Aug. 11 – Norinchukin Bank announced on Aug. 10 that it will set up a subsidiary specializing in investment in an effort to invest more in unlisted companies. It plans to launch a 39-billion-yen fund in October to help improve its own profitability, as well as supporting growth of firms in the food and agriculture sectors and contributing to digitalization of agricultural cooperatives in Japan, known as the JA group. The new company, Norinchukin Capital, will be capitalized at 100 million yen and will be wholly owned by Norinchukin Bank. Norinchukin Capital will operate two different funds to increase the value of companies it invests in and then obtain … Continue reading

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JA Fruits Yamanashi sells limited number of Hello Kitty peaches

YAMANASHI, Jul. 30 – A local agricultural cooperative in Yamanashi Prefecture sold a limited number of peaches with an image of a popular Sanrio character, “Hello Kitty.” One of the world’s most popular cat and the JA Fruits Yamanashi collaborated to promote the consumption of the local summer fruits. The JA used Yamanashi’s patented technology to “print” the image on locally-grown “Natsukko” white peaches, which are currently in high season. Approximately two weeks before harvesting, peach growers wrapped each one of the fruits on the trees with a stocking with a light-blocking sticker to make the cute character appear clearly on the skin of the fruit. Last year, they printed … Continue reading

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