On Wednesday, the National Federation of Agricultural Cooperative Associations (JA Zenno) announced a plan to develop up to ten additional generic agrichemicals within the next three to five years. Expecting an influx of imports after the enactment of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), Zenno’s plan intends to reduce the financial burden on domestic farmers by providing cheaper agricultural production materials.
Generic agrichemicals are widely used by producers abroad, including the European Union and other Asian nations. In South Korea, 30% of all registered agrichemicals are generics. In Japan, generic agrichemicals are not used much because of strict government regulations that require chemical producers to perform thorough safety tests which can cost as much as new drug trials. This has been a big factor behind the persistence of high agrichemical prices in Japan.
A project team in the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is discussing separate measures to bring down the prices of agricultural production materials, including agrichemicals and fertilizers. The LDP’s finalized measures will be one of the main pillars of the administration’s fundamental agricultural policy. Zenno will ask the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to deregulate the rules governing generic agrichemicals. The association will start collaborating with major agrichemical producers to begin developing new generic agrichemicals. (Abridged