Tag Archives: Japanese Rice

Rice Farmers in Japan Set Tougher Radiation Limits for Crops

Rice farmers near Japan’s crippled Fukushima nuclear plant will impose radiation safety limits that will only clear grains with levels so low as to be virtually undetectable after government-set standards were viewed as too lenient, curbing sales.

Farmers now completing the harvest in areas affected by fallout from the nuclear station are struggling to find buyers amid doubts about cesium limits, which are less stringent than in livestock feed. No samples have been found exceeding the official limits.

A self-imposed near-zero limit on radiation in rice may help spur sales from Fukushima, which was the forth-largest producer in Japan last year, representing about 5 percent of the total harvest. The prefectural office of Zen-Noh, Japan’s biggest farmers group, plans to only ship cesium-free rice to address safety concerns, as does the National Confederation of Farmers Movements, which includes about 30,000 producers nationwide.

Read the rest of the story: Rice Farmers in Japan Set Tougher Radiation Limits for Crops.

Japanese agriculture is in a free-fall decline.

Japanese agriculture is in a free-fall decline. In the years between 1960 and 2005, the share of agricultural output in gross domestic product (GDP) dropped from 9% to 1%, the food self-sufficiency ratio from 79% to 41%, and agricultural land, indispensable for food security, from 6.09 million hectares to 4.63 million hectares.

Meanwhile, the ratio of part-time farm households, which derive more than half their income from non-farm employment, increased from 32.1% to 61.7%. The percentage of farmers over 65 years old also jumped from 10% to 60%. Gross agricultural output in 2006 was 8.5 trillion yen (US$93.4 billion), less than the sales volume of Panasonic, which stood at 9.1 trillion yen in the same year.

Read the rest of the story: High rice prices feed Japan’s farming woes

Photo by kayakaya