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HOME  > Past issues  > 2020 December 2 - 8  > Farmers in autumn 'Green Wave' action call for protection of family farmers
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2020 December 2 - 8 [SOCIAL ISSUES]

Farmers in autumn 'Green Wave' action call for protection of family farmers

December 5, 2020

The National Campaign for the Defense of People's Food and Health (Shokukenren) on December 4 staged an autumn "Green Wave" action in the government office district of Kasumigaseki.

Accompanied by Japanese Communist Party member of the House of Representatives Tamura Takaaki, participating farmers and consumers made representations to the Agriculture Ministry, demanding that the government take measures to prevent a coronavirus-caused drop in the price of rice and to increase the country's food self-sufficiency rate by changing the present agricultural policy to one centering on family farmers.

They stated that the government should adopt an agricultural policy capable of contributing to the UN "Decade of Family Farming" campaign and should work to increase the self-sufficiency rate based on this policy. They also said that school meals should use locally-produced rice, stop using imported wheat in which the herbicide glyphosate has been detected, and use domestically-grown wheat. They also demanded that the government purchase the rice overstock produced in 2019 due to a fall in demand associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, and that the amount of rice imports under WTO minimum access (MA) agreements be reduced.

The Agriculture Ministry refused to agree to buy the overstocked rice or to reduce the volume of MA rice, claiming that MA rice imports are an international requirement and do not affect domestic demand.

The famers, however, argued that MA rice is used for processed foods, such as rice miso made from soybeans and rice, lowering the demand for domestic rice. They criticized the government response for leaving foreign rice as it is while shifting the burden on domestic rice producers.
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