Tokyo, May 15 (Jiji Press)–Japan’s government and ruling coalition have agreed to offer up to 1.5 million yen each to farmers who have seen their sales channels disappear due chiefly to restaurant closures amid the coronavirus epidemic, Jiji Press learned Friday.
Aiming to maintain farming production bases and improve productivity in the agricultural industry, the government is expected to set aside funds for the aid program under a fiscal 2020 second supplementary budget in response to the spread of the virus, informed sources said.
An existing subsidy program for commercial and industrial businesses amid the epidemic has the ceiling of one million yen.
The government is considering raising the limit to 1.5 million yen and making a similar program for farmers at the request of some members of the ruling Liberal Democratic Party, according to the sources.
Under the envisioned program, the government and ruling bloc hope to support farmers with plans to introduce cutting-edge agricultural equipment or open new markets.
Also, the LDP is considering plans to help producers of fresh flowers who suffered income falls due to cancellations of entrance ceremonies and welcome and farewell parties amid the epidemic to pay electricity bills and other fixed costs.
According to the sources, many LDP members are calling for support to tea producers in the current full harvest time and restaurant operators renovating their stores to launch takeout and delivery services.
The agriculture ministry and others plan to urge the government to increase funds earmarked in the first supplementary budget for fiscal 2020 to promote the proposals from the LDP.