Japan Agribusiness Report Q2 2015

BMI Research
March 18, 2015
93 Pages - SKU: BMI5496854
Countries covered: Japan

Japan Agribusiness Report Q2 2015

BMI View: The government's plans to diminish the once-powerful Central Union Agricultural Cooperative (JA-Zenchu)'s influence and clout in the industry by 2019 is a strong indication to us that much-needed structural reform of the agriculture industry is underway. Indeed, by 2019, the JA Zenchu is supposed to become a general incorporated association with co-ops having the option of engaging independent auditors instead of working with those associated to the JA Zenchu. By reducing the power of the Union, the government is sending out a clear sign that it is serious about the reforms, as further reflected in the increased openness towards a compromise for the TPP. Other structural issues that should be addressed are the ageing farmer population (the average age of a Japanese farmer is close to 70 years old) coupled with highly inefficient farming methods - usually constrained by the small plots of family run farms. It is no wonder why agriculture employment is shrinking so rapidly. According to official figures, people engaged in farming in Japan fell by 22.3% from 2005 to 2010 to reach 747,000. The Japanese agriculture industry faces a bleak future if it does not reinvent itself.

Key Forecasts

Rice production growth to 2018/2019: 6.7% to 9.0mn tonnes. With the latest policy to do away with the four decade-long gentan policy which restricts output of the grain to prevent overproduction, we believe that this will herald a new season for the backward and ageing industry as industry consolidation will begin to take place.

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