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ECONOMY > Agriculture

Japan to keep food self-sufficiency target at 45 pct

  • March 10, 2020
  • , Jiji Press , 9:18 p.m.
  • English Press

Tokyo, March 10 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s agriculture ministry revealed Tuesday its goal of raising the country’s calorie-based food self-sufficiency rate to 45 pct in fiscal 2030, unchanged from the current target set for fiscal 2025.

The fiscal 2030 target is included in a draft basic program for agricultural policy over the next 10 years.

While animals raised with imported feed have not been included in the self-sufficiency rate so far, the ministry hopes to introduce a domestic production rate for food that also covers such livestock as a new target indicator.

The ministry hopes to gain cabinet approval for the program by the end of March.

In fiscal 2018, which ended in March 2019, the food self-sufficiency rate dropped to a record low of 37 pct, as diversified diets led to a fall in domestic consumption of rice, which had been supporting the country’s food self-sufficiency rate.

The rate shows how much domestic consumption is covered by domestic production. It is necessary to improve the rate to prepare for possible contingencies in the future, such as poor harvests and suspension of food imports.

The ministry reviews the 10-year basic program every five years.

Under the draft of the new basic plan, the ministry hopes to boost the food self-sufficiency rate by improving productivity using new technologies such as drones.

The ministry also plans to increase the value of Japan’s exports of agricultural, forestry and fishery products, and foods to 5 trillion yen by calendar 2030, more than five times the 2019 level.

The new domestic food production rate will be introduced as a yardstick that will show, in an understandable way, the scale of the livestock industry in Japan, which is growing in presence with the ministry currently promoting the production of “wagyu” Japanese beef.

For example, the country’s self-supplied feed rate came to 25 pct in fiscal 2018, displaying Japan’s heavy dependence on imported feed.

While the self-sufficiency rate for beef stood at 11 pct, the new domestic food production rate for beef came to 43 pct.

The ministry hopes to raise the overall domestic food production rate, which came to 46 pct in fiscal 2018, to 53 pct in fiscal 2030.

The ministry also plans to set a goal of increasing the country’s food self-sufficiency rate in terms of output value by 9 percentage points from fiscal 2018 to 75 pct in fiscal 2030. The target for the output value-based domestic food production rate will be set at 79 pct.

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