(Yomiuri: October 26, 2015 – p. 3)
The government indicated that it will expand assistance to livestock farmers in light of the basic TPP agreement. It will consider ways to expand reserves of imported feed and review transportation methods in order to cut production costs. These measures are being considered to allay concerns regarding the impact of reduced tariffs on beef and pork.
The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) will formulate concrete policies for inclusion in the outline of TPP measures the government is compiling in November.
Imports are relied on for around 75% of feed for cows, pigs, and other livestock. Therefore, feed prices are easily affected by exchange rate fluctuations. Drastic price increases will aggravate the TPP’s impact on livestock farmers.
The MAFF plans to cope with sudden price fluctuations through reserves of imported feed. At present, a stockpile of 1.25 million tons of feed is maintained as precaution against natural disasters. Additional measures will be considered carefully in order not to result in excessive reserves.
As a means to reduce the transportation cost of imported feed, efforts will be stepped up to build ports where big ships carrying large volumes of feed can be moored. (Abridged)