Japan’s 2016 farm output tops 9 tln yen for first time in 16 years

TOKYO, Dec. 27 — Japan’s agricultural output exceeded a landmark 9 trillion yen in 2016 for the first time in 16 years, data from the agriculture ministry has shown.

Improved prices of table rice were a major factor affecting the nation’s agriculture production, which rose by 4.6% year-on-year to 9.2 trillion yen in 2016, according to the ministry.

The rise is also attributed to unfavorable weather conditions, which reduced supplies of vegetables and fresh fruits and helped to boost prices, the ministry noted.

The number of farmers in Japan has steadily shrunk in recent times, as they get older and scramble to consolidate. That has impacted the nation’s agricultural production value, which has kept falling below 9 trillion yen since 2001.

Table rice production jumped by 10.4% year-on-year, the biggest increase of all products, to 1.65 trillion yen in 2016. The government is encouraging rice farmers to shift production from table rice to animal feed.

Vegetable production value rose by 6.9% to 2.56 trillion yen, while fruit surged by 6.3% to 833 billion yen. Beef rose by 7.3% to 739 billion yen.

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