The government will ally with Japan’s Central Union of Agriculture Co-operatives (JA Zenchu) to help Asia’s developing countries build mutual-aid organizations on the model of Japan’s local agriculture cooperatives to improve efficiency through such mechanisms as the joint shipment of farm produce and joint purchase of materials. The government also eyes exploring ways to allow Japanese farmers to employ foreign workers who studied Japanese farming know-how to address their personnel shortages. It is looking to turn the export of Japan’s “agriculture cooperative” mechanism into a new diplomatic tool to ramp up ties with developing nations that have great growth potential.
The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) oversees, and JA Zenchu will ink a memorandum of understating in early May at the earliest. The partnership is aimed at launching several model projects by the early 2020s. JA Zenchu will pick local cooperatives looking to extend support to farmers overseas. JICA, on its part, will bring together Japan’s regional cooperatives and overseas farmers who are looking for technological support from Japan. Official development aid (ODA) programs will be used to extend technological support. (Abridged)