Farms to accept workers from tourism and restaurant industries with reduced jobs amid COVID-19 outbreak

NAGANO/AOMORI, Apr. 12 – As the agriculture industry continues to face severe labor shortage, moves are seen in some areas to dispatch workers from the tourism and restaurant sectors hit by the new coronavirus outbreak to work at farms. Because of the decrease in the number of foreign visitors and requests by authorities to refrain from making nonessential outings, it is getting increasingly difficult for firms in the tourism industry to maintain employment of their workers. On the other hand, farms are struggling to obtain workers, as the COVID-19 pandemic has prevented foreign trainees, mainly from China, whom they have relied on for labor, from coming to Japan. <JA Sakuasama … Continue reading

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Price of cut flowers hits lowest in a decade in Japan

TOKYO and KOCHI, Apr. 11 – The market price of cut flowers is continuing to fall. The daily average of the flower prices at seven primary flower wholesale markets in Japan dropped six yens to 32 yens per one piece, the lowest ever in a decade, according to the daily market index released by the Japan Agricultural News. After Prime Minister Abe declared a state of emergency on April 7, many of large-scale florist chains and individual retailers in big commercial complexes decided to suspend their business, triggering a huge decline in the average price of cut flowers in the index called Nichi-noh INDEX. Offering of the day at the … Continue reading

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Japan Co-op Alliance’s first statistics exhibit 5.6-trillion-yen high added-value by cooperatives associations

TOKYO, Mar. 26 – Japan Co-operative Alliance (JCA) released its first official statistics on co-op business in Japan on March 26, 2020. According to the statistics, the total amount of the value added by the cooperatives in Japan was approximately 5.6 trillion yen. It accounts for 1.9% of the sum of the value added by all domestic industries. The total number of cooperative association members is 15.61 million, and each household is estimated to have memberships in 1.8 associations. JCA will continue releasing the statistics in the future as one of the means to exhibit the broad presence of cooperative associations in Japan. The base figures for the statistics are … Continue reading

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“Too real to watch?” Zenkyoren develops Japan’s first VR-based farm accident simulator

TOKYO, Mar. 27 – Japan’s National Mutual Insurance Federation of Agricultural Cooperatives (Zenkyoren) announced on March 26, 2020, that it developed a VR-based farm accident simulator for the first time in Japan. The system uses a virtual reality (VR) headset and a smartphone equipped with glasses exclusively designed for that purpose, and people can simulate five types of agricultural machinery accidents. The mutual insurance co-op will start renting the unit to local agricultural cooperatives in Japan (JA) in April this year, so that JAs can use it for training JA staff and local farmers and eventually prevent future accidents. The five accidents it assumes are those while driving a tractor, … Continue reading

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Japan sets clear goal of raising farm export to 5 trillion yen by 2030

TOKYO, Mar. 7 – Japan has set a new target for exports of agricultural, forestry and fishery products and foods at a council of Ministers on March 6, 2020. According to the announcement after the council, the country now plans to increase agricultural, forestry, and fishery exports to 5 trillion yen by 2030. It includes 3,510 billion yen for farm products, including processed food. As a midterm goal, the country is also committed to boost the export of agricultural, forestry, and fishery products to 2 trillion yen by 2025. Yoshihide Suga, Chief Cabinet Secretary of Japan, instructed each minister “to have concrete discussions as soon as possible and work together … Continue reading

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