【News】 Most of community-based farm management entities find their business conditions tough with current low level of rice prices (March 8, 2017)

More than 80 percent of community-based farm management entities including similar organizations find their business conditions tough, saying “Rice marketing business will be barely balancing,” or “Our incomes will not be able to cover expenses,” if prices of 2016 rice crop are continuously stagnating at low level in the market, Japan Agricultural News’ latest survey on business conditions surrounding farm management entities found.

The survey was conducted this February by polling 108 farm management entities in the country, out of which 61 entities had replied by the end of the month.

About 70 percent of these 61 entities increased their incomes in fiscal 2016, which was realized by consecutive price hikes of rice in 2015 and 2016 thanks to successful production controls by farmers.

Rice prices rising in 2016, however, they were still stagnant at the fourth cheapest level in the past ten years.

62 percent of the community-based farm management entities responded to the poll, saying “Marketing business will barely balance this year,” while 23 percent of the entities said “Incomes will not cover expenses.”

A number of core farmers leading those community-based farm entities are still in a tough management situation, the survey reconfirmed.

Regarding an outlook for 2017 rice crop market, only 7 percent of the farm entities expect a price hike, while 34 percent have a pessimistic outlook for the price.

As many as 70 percent of the farm entities responded to a question on investment plans for agricultural machines and facilities by saying “Investment will be utmost curbed,” or “Investment will be postponed.”

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