The 2011 earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in Japan affected imports and exports of agri-food products. Following the disasters, the implementation of international surveillance measures on exports of agri-food products and the restrictions on domestic production resulted in a decrease of exports and an increase in the level of imports. While restrictions were gradually lifted, levels of imports and exports did not adjust immediately as consumers were reluctant to consume products from afflicted regions. We examine Japan’s agri-food exports and imports for the presence of structural breaks to endogenously determine whether there were any permanent post-2011 changes in the evolution of the time series of trade flows. We use the endogenous structural break literature and examine 2-digit trade series for the presence of up to 3 structural changes in the series’ trends. Results indicate non-uniform post-2011 level and trend changes for both imports and exports of agri-food products.
New variety development requires funding, and there is restricted opportunity for wheat breeders to collect research funds if wheat growers use their products as seed. This is a serious issue for wheat variety developers, especially for private companies. This study attempts to clarify the monetary burden placed on growers in Japan, Germany, and Australia for wheat varietal use. Using data published by public organizations, such as the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization and government ministries, and collected through interviews, the author compares the costs to growers in each country. The analysis yields two main conclusions: First, production in Germany is minimally related to price, and in Australia, it is weakly related to price. This means growers cannot earn enough from sales if their yields are low. The Australian system reduces the cost of varietal use for farmers, especially when yields are low. Second, German and Australian growers pay 1.2% of their output for varietal use when yields are average. In Japan, growers pay only 0.1% of their output for varietal use, and breeding programs are publicly supported. Though the Japanese government aims to introduce private sector crop-breeding industries, it could be difficult for private companies to acquire enough funds for breeding under the current system.
The service of maintaining food security as well as national defense and keeping social order is a public good. The agricultural sector produces food as a private good and externalities such as environmental burden and multifunctionality as joint products. Government intervention in markets is theoretically justified if externality exists. Conceptually this is easy, but it is difficult to implement. Since the degree of externalities is unobservable, it is hard to develop concrete or exact policies without any dead weight loss. In this paper, I examine how to develop food security linked to multifunctionality, aiming for a society in which all people can enjoy food security through sustainable agriculture without deteriorating rural areas.
This paper is a short version of the paper published in Nogyo Keizai Kenkyu in Japanese (Shimokawa, 2020). The paper first proposes recommendations for a healthy and sustainable diet in Japan under the context of multidimensionality and clarifies the gaps between the diet and Japan’s current diets. Second, it explores potential difficulties to achieve the healthy and sustainable diet by considering consumers’ bounded rationality. Lastly, it discusses how we can tackle the difficulties by taking advantage of information and communication technologies.
What types of farming systems and operations and their multi-dimensionality would contribute to construct a sustainable society in Japan by 2040? What policies would enable this transformation of the society? New agri-food policies promoted by the United Nations and European Union, and the rationality steering these policies, enrich the discussion and provide some spectra. This paper examines four scenarios of farm development and concludes that agroecological farming systems operated by small-scale family farms, a decentralized and localized agri-food system, and policies supporting this transformation would be the key to meet the new societal desires and construct a sustainable society.
In 2040, it will be an era where people can enjoy a fulfilling lifestyle in both rural and urban areas. At that time, if a “local decentralized scenario” can be selected, the sustainability of rural areas will increase. This scenario will be realized only when the social infrastructure technology can be scaled down, the SDGs philosophy is shared by the people, and the conditions for social transformation are complete. In a different form from updating old plans and systems, the process of realizing a decentralized scenario should be considered now in order to enhance the value of rural life.
This study reviews the points of the food self-sufficiency ratio target and stable supply of food positioned in the basic plan. Regarding the target of the food self-sufficiency ratio targets, in addition to the setting based on the conventional thinking, we set a new target for the food domestic production rate. Regarding food policy, we positioned responding to the increasingly diversifies and sophisticated needs of consumers, promoting government-integrated exports, ensuring food safety, eating habits, and establishing comprehensive food security that takes into account changes in education and food supply risks.
This paper reviews the policies for sustainable agricultural development in the basic plan for food, agriculture and rural areas. Specifically, the plan promotes the development and securing of motivated farmers, regardless of the scale of business or the management form such as family and corporation. In addition, it deals with the accumulation and consolidation of farmland to motivated farmers, construction of production and supply systems that respond to changes in the demand structure, strengthening of production bases for that purpose, and spread and establishment of smart agriculture.
This study reviews the main measures for the development of rural areas positioned in Japan’s basic food plan. MAFF plays a central role in comprehensively promoting rural area policy in cooperation with related bodies along the 3 points; 1) Creation of employment and income though improving profitability by strengthening agricultural production bases and creating new value by utilizing diverse rural resources, 2) Establishing conditions for people to continue living in rural areas such as hilly and mountainous areas, and 3) Creating new movements and vitality to support rural areas over a wide area by raising public interest in rural areas.
Despite the increasing trend of using four-wheeled tractors (TR) and power-tillers (PT) to prepare the land, studies on agricultural mechanization are relatively scant in Sub-Saharan Africa. This study examines the determinants of machinery use by rice-growing households in Tanzania, using a household-level panel data set. We find that farmers who grow rice in areas with high wage rates for hired labor are more likely to use TR. Furthermore, we find that the existence of TR and PT rental markets in the village is positively associated with using them. Improving access to affordable machinery rental services would enhance machinery adoption.
Constrained by resources and environment, reducing food losses is receiving increasing attention in China. This study uses data from 1,106 farmers to calculate rice harvest losses and tests the impacts of mechanization and farming scale. The results are: 1) The harvest loss rate of rice averages 3.65%, and it decreases as farm scale increases. 2) The effects of mechanization on losses vary with farm scale. 3) Small- and middle-scale farmers are vulnerable to production and harvesting conditions while large-scale farmers are more affected by household and individual characteristics. Finally, policy suggestions are provided.
This study estimates the impact of the gender of informed individuals on agricultural training participation. To do so, we randomly distributed information about a rice planting demonstration to husbands or wives in rural Zambia. The results show that targeted information recipients were much more likely to join the training than the non-targets from the same household, indicating that information does not flow well among spouses. We present evidence that information sharing is distorted by intra-household differences in management rights over productive lands for rice cultivation.
The objective of this research is to check if the “productivity paradox” exists in the Chinese food industry and estimate the effect of export scales on the enterprises’ total factor productivity (TFP). The results show the following: first, the “productivity paradox” does not exist in the Chinese food industry; second, within specific optimal intervals, export scale can facilitate the increase in TFP; and third, “learning by exporting” has a time-lag effect on the food industry, which impacts food manufacturing firms the least and beverage manufacturing firms the most.
Smallholders’ market participation decision is shaped by the transaction costs they face as well as their shadow prices. These shadow prices vary across farmers depending on the comparative advantage. In this study, we test the hypothesis that farmers enter the crop market according to their comparative advantage. The results suggest that crop net selling is associated with farmer’s comparative advantage, regardless of the market access factors. This implies that conclusions drawn from single crop case studies should be taken with caution, since farmers may participate in a competing crop market as net sellers based on their comparative advantage.
This study aims to investigate residents’ intentions and willingness to cooperate toward starting farm-stay businesses and inbound tourism among those who have not yet engaged in a business. Through a questionnaire survey in Murakumo area, Tambasasayama city, we found that first, 15.2% and 18.3% of the respondents have high intentions to start farm-stay businesses and accepting foreign visitors respectively. Second, based on chi-square test, demographic attributes of gender, farming frequency, free time, and experience of communication with foreigners are significantly different in the high and low intentions. Third, the respondents with low intentions of starting businesses also have willingness to cooperate.
This paper explores newly established corporation-cooperative arrangements in Madagascar’s vanilla sector. It presents findings on how these arrangements are primarily driven by downstream lead firms seeking to secure access to high quality produce. These arrangements are part of corporations’ interests in developing new sourcing channels and pursuing explicit coordination strategies by integrating farmers into their value chains. Against a backdrop where international and national actors have been promoting cooperatives in the agricultural export sector in developing countries, this contribution suggests that these arrangements should be brought to light and closely evaluated.
This paper examines whether chemical fertilizer application in rice fields is profitable in the central highland of Madagascar where both lowland rice and upland rice are cultivated. The analyses reveal: (i) upland rice plots are more likely to receive chemical fertilizer; (ii) the impact of nitrogen application on yield is larger on upland rice plots than on lowland rice plots; and (iii) nitrogen application is profitable only when nitrogen is in the form of urea and applied to upland rice plots. We conclude that technological development to improve yield response to chemical fertilizer in lowland rice plots should be promoted.
Despite the increasing economic and nutritional importance of vegetables in Madagascar, empirical evidence remains largely scarce. The objective of this study is thus to examine the impact of vegetable production on smallholder farmers’ welfare and nutrition in the central highlands of Madagascar. Using yearly cross-sectional data, results reveal a positive association between market-oriented vegetable production and household’s welfare and dietary diversity, which indicates such vegetable production is income generating while allowing farmers to diversify their nutritional intake. However, no evidence is found for less market-oriented households. Policy recommendations should emphasize on commercial vegetable-related strategies, farmers’ skills and market access.
The objective of this study is to assess the regional indirect effects of recovering water quality in the Fukushima forest watersheds after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the Fukushima disaster. The primary outcomes of the simulated EMEDA results are as follows. First, the tertiary sectors receive many benefits through domestic transactions after recovering the water quality in Fukushima forest watersheds. Second, the Japanese grains and crops sector enjoys approximately four times more than the rice sector that directly receives benefits by water recovery while it suffers some damages in East Asian countries.
Infectious animal diseases have become prevalent occasionally in developing countries due to their weak animal health system and hinder their potential of livestock and livestock product exports. Mongolia since the early 2000s has experienced frequent outbreaks of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) that result in prolonged quarantine in affected areas. Difference-in-Differences estimates suggest that herders in the quarantine zones had smaller herds, especially smaller cattle herd after the quarantine. We also observe a significant decrease in byproduct sales revenue and feed cost. We find, however, null evidence that FMD quarantine negatively impacted household’s farm income, farm profit, or total income.