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Japan plans to cut reliance on agricultural imports

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Japan is planning to reduce its over-reliance on imported farm products to improve the country’s food security.

Prices of commodities such as wheat and soybeans have soared on the back of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A draft government proposal obtained by NHK says it is necessary to boost domestic output of agricultural products and fertilizers.

The plan calls for a 9-percent expansion of acreage for wheat cultivation and 16 percent for soybeans by 2030, compared with last year. The government would provide help in converting rice paddies to fields and assist with investment in facilities to meet the goals.

The proposal also targets a 20 percent reduction in the use of chemical fertilizers in the same timeframe. Japan imports most of the raw materials needed to make them.

The government plans to promote greater use of compost as an alternative.

Reducing the amount of food that gets discarded is also part of the plan. It is estimated that over 5 million tons was thrown away in Japan in the year through March 2021. The government wants to cut food waste in half by fiscal 2030, compared with fiscal 2000.

The government says it will finalize the details of the proposal at a meeting next Tuesday, and proceed with the necessary legislative changes.

Source : NHK World