Japan’s agriculture could revitalise after joining TPP

Japan’s agriculture sector could be revitalised as a result of the country joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), new research has found.

The independent research, funded by Fonterra, was conducted by Professors Hugh Whittaker and Rob Scollay from the University of Auckland. They investigated the potential implications of the TPP on the Japanese agricultural sector.

Professor Scollay says, “The Japanese agricultural sector faces a number of challenges. Many small-scale farms are uneconomic while the average age of Japanese farmers and the area of abandoned farmland are both increasing alarmingly.”

Meanwhile, falling per capita consumption of Japanese farm products, combined with large projected future falls in Japan’s population underline the need to transform Japan’s agriculture into a more competitive sector with export potential.

“Our research found that participation in TPP could actually be the trigger needed to revitalise and transform Japan’s agriculture into a more vibrant and productive sector with long-term growth potential.”

Fonterra decided to fund the research because it wanted to ascertain from an independent source the potential impacts TPP might have on the agriculture industry in Japan after previous opposition coming from the sector.

To form their research findings, the Professors collaborated with agricultural experts based in Japan, met with a variety of New Zealand and Japanese companies in the sector and analysed data published by Japan’s Minister of Agriculture Forestry & Fisheries.


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