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HOME  > Past issues  > 2008 August 20 - 26  > 5,000 Hokkaido farmers call for steps to overcome agricultural crisis
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2008 August 20 - 26 [AGRICULTURE]

5,000 Hokkaido farmers call for steps to overcome agricultural crisis

August 22, 2008
About 5,000 farmers, agricultural cooperative officials, and consumers in Hokkaido on August 21 filled the main park in central Sapporo City for a rally to press the government to act to overcome the present agriculture crisis.

Hokkaido is the nation’s largest producer of upland crops, dairy products, and rice. Its cultivated acreage accounts for one fourth of the country’s total, but its agriculture is now in difficulty due to the soaring prices of fuel, feed, and fertilizers.

The rally was called by the Japan Agricultural Cooperative Group (JA Group).

Hokkaido Prefectural Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA Hokkaido Chuokai) President Tobita Toshiaki exclaimed, “Under such circumstances, farmers cannot continue farming even if they work night and day. People cannot live without agriculture.”

Rally participants adopted a resolution calling on the government to put financial speculation under control, take steps to stabilize sharp increases in production costs, and take a resolute stance in trade talks.

Japanese Communist Party House of Councilors Kami Tomoko spoke and expressed solidarity with farmers in the struggle. The audience gave a positive agreement in response when she said, “Let us work together to press the government to move towards a global regulation on financial speculation and directly cover losses caused by the rising prices of production materials!”
- Akahata, August 22, 2008
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