JA group, Keidanren to deepen cooperation on Japan farming

TOKYO, March 17 — Japan’s largest farmers’ group and its powerful business lobby group, the Keidanren, have agreed to deepen cooperation in the agriculture sector.

Toru Nakaya, the chairman of the Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives, known as JA-ZENCHU, met his counterpart of Keidanren, Sadayuki Sakakibara, on March 16 in Tokyo.

The move comes as Japan faces shrinking food demand posed by a rapidly ageing and declining population with low birth rates. Japan has set a target of 1 trillion yen in agricultural exports by 2020.

In 2013, the two groups set up a working group to strengthen cooperation in areas of improving agriculture production by using information technology and promoting exports of agriculture products.

“Agriculture in Japan is at an important crossroad,” said Nakaya in the beginning of the meeting

“The increasing digitalization of agricultural practices makes it possible to meet our challenges, and it is indispensable to work with Keidanren,” he said.

Sakaibara responded: “We want to contribute to solve challenges the agriculture faces, involving technologies suitable for a more effective and sustainable management. There should be a win-win relationship for both sides.”

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