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HOME  > Past issues  > 2022 December 7 - 13  > Gov’t should take action without delay to help livestock farmers survive skyrocketing production costs
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2022 December 7 - 13 [POLITICS]

Gov’t should take action without delay to help livestock farmers survive skyrocketing production costs

December 7, 2022

Akahata editorial (excerpts)

Japan’s livestock farmers are facing an unprecedented crisis. Despite soaring production costs, such as a 47% jump in feed prices, 45% in fertilizer prices, and 28% in utility charges compared to the 2020 level, the prices for animal products remain low. Their business operation is getting worse.

In particular, dairy farmers are experiencing a tragic situation caused by the rising feed costs and other factors which include a curb on milk prices due to a decrease in demand and a sharp drop in male-calf prices. The latest survey by the Japan Agricultural News which was released on December 5 shows that 400 or 3.4% of dairy farming households went out of business between April and October. There is a concern that more and more dairy farmers may go bankrupt by the end of the year due to financial difficulties.

An increase in prices of feed and other agricultural inputs in Japan has been brought by the extremely weak yen and the global price hikes. A decrease in demand for dairy products has resulted mainly from the protracted COVID-19 pandemic. Farmers cannot survive this crisis situation without help from the government.

In Japan, livestock products account for 36% of the total agricultural production value and dairy farming is an important component in supplying quality and safe products to the people. This industry also plays a major part in maintaining employment and local economies as it connects with a wider range of sectors including feed manufacturing, transport, and product processing. As daily farming is one of the essential components of the agricultural sector in Japan, it must be protected.

The Japanese Communist Party in November submitted to the government an urgent request which calls for a drastic improvement of measures to deal with the ongoing surge in agricultural product expenses and a provision of financial help to ease negative impacts from the rising prices of fodder and fertilizers. The JCP also demands that the government fundamentally improve its programs that guarantee the producers’ price and their income, and work to increase Japan’s self-sufficiency rate.

The pressing task now for the government is to take action to fundamentally support livestock farmers.

Past related article:
> Amid global food crisis, Japan should revise its agricultural policy to enable farmers to increase their yields without anxiety [August 29, 2022]
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