Japan eyes booming locally grown wheat and barley products

TOKYO, Feb. 13 ― A Japanese farmers’ group has organized a food fair that aims to promote products that use domestically produced wheat and barley at a permanent exhibition center in Tokyo.

The National Rice Wheat and Barley Improvement Association offers the space, where food makers can showcase their latest products that use Japanese-grown wheat and barley to visitors from Feb. 12 till 19.

The Tokyo outlet, called Mugi kurabe, has a fully-equipped kitchen and a place to display locally-produced new products and seating areas to eat them. The association also offers serving staff and transport costs for small businesses or growers to present their products.

Japanese wheat consumption has been rising thanks to strong demand for bread and noodles, and about 90 percent of the crop that Japan consume is imported.

According to the association, Japan merely produces 900,000 tons of wheat, compared with the EU’s 156 million tons and China’s 126 million tons.

The Japanese government aims to increase the country’s wheat production to 950,000 tons and its barley to 220,000 by 2025.

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