Japan is about the size of California and mostly rugged and mountainous; केवल 11.6 percent of its land is considered arable and another 0.9 percent is in permanent crops. यह है 10.5 million acres of cropland with 60 percent irrigated. Production agriculture accounts for 1.1 percent of the country’s GDP, के साथ 3.9 percent of the labor force employed in farming. Commercial farms are small by U.S. मानकों, averaging a little less than 5 एकड़ जमीन. Rice paddies cover half the farmland, लेकिन 30 percent of that land is diverted to other crops. A little less than 20 percent of the nation’s rice land has been affected and some land may shift back to rice in other parts of the country. यूएसडीए की विदेशी कृषि सेवा के अनुसार, rice carryover supplies in Japan are about 34 percent of annual use.
The most severe damage is on the east side of Honshu, the main island, from Tokyo to the northern end. The agricultural island of Hokkaido to the north has much less damage. The same is true of the west side of Honshu and the southern half of the island. Japan’s dry winter season ended about mid-February with the beginning of the rainy season. April-May is the main planting time. Some of the land flooded by the tsunami may be planted this year if the water can be drained and debris removed. Land contaminated by salt will need at least a year to be restored.
Preliminary reports indicate that the major ports in northeast Honshu most damaged by the earthquake and tsunami handle mostly non-agricultural products. One that does import grain is hampered by power outages. Most meat imports enter through southern ports that have received only minimal damage. Shortages of electricity have already been identified as a general problem in areas where nuclear power plants have gone off-line, but Japan has surplus generation capacity that can help meet immediate demands. The electric power grid is working in most of the country and power is being shifted to areas that have lines operational. Most of the livestock and feed mills are located in the central portion of the country according to Parr Rosson of Texas A & एम विश्वविद्यालय. Problems moving feed into areas with infrastructure damage may reduce meat, milk and egg production.
Long-term impacts of radiation leaks from disabled nuclear power plants on agricultural production are not part of the current assessments.
According to Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries estimates for 2008, self sufficiency ranges from 96 percent for eggs, 95 चावल के लिए प्रतिशत, 80 percent for vegetables, 70 percent for milk and dairy products, 56 percent for meats, 41 percent for fruit, 26 percent for feed grains, 14 गेहूं के लिए प्रतिशत और 6 सोयाबीन के लिए प्रतिशत. The high self sufficiency for eggs, dairy products and meats are made possible by imports of feed grains and soybeans used for livestock and poultry feed.
USDA estimates that Japan imported over $40 billion of agricultural products in 2009, making it the third largest importer after the U.S. and the EU with the U.S. supplying almost 30 कुल प्रतिशत. दक्षिण पूर्व एशियाई राष्ट्रों के संघ के दस देशों (आसियान) were the next largest at 14 प्रतिशत, followed by China and the EU at about 11 percent each and Australia at 7 प्रतिशत. Meats account for about 20 percent of imports on a value basis, followed by cereal grains, processed foods and oilseeds. Japan is the world’s largest importer of meat on a value basis. Meat demand could decline due to lost income in areas with the greatest economic damage.
अमेरिका. agricultural exports to Japan of $13.1 billion in calendar 2010 were led by corn at $3.02 अरब, followed by pork at $1.55 अरब, soybeans and products at $1.33 अरब, all fruits, सब्जियों और में रस $1.27 अरब, other feeds and fodders at $0.85 अरब, पर गेहूं $0.79 billion and beef and veal at $0.55 अरब. Japan accounted for 30 अमेरिका का प्रतिशत. मकई निर्यात, 6 percent of whole soybean, 14 percent of wheat, 14 percent of beef, 28 percent of pork and 11 percent of fruits, vegetables and juices. Japan could make immediate purchases of additional supplies of these products with minimal affects on markets. Long-term demand changes could be met by the U.S. and the other traditional suppliers.
The Japanese government will have to consider changing import policies for agricultural commodities and food products to avoid higher consumer prices resulting from shortages of some products. It has high tariffs on consumer products such as milk for manufacturing, sugar beets and sugarcane, and has tariff-rate quotas (टीआरक्यू) for wheat, आटा, butter and milk powder.
Several months ago Prime Minister Kan had set a June deadline to consider changes in agricultural policies in preparation for joining negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) मुक्त व्यापार समझौते. Talks have been ongoing for a year among nine Pacific Rim countries, अमेरिका सहित, ऑस्ट्रेलिया और न्यूजीलैंड. Large Japanese businesses have been pushing for participation, but Japanese agriculture would have to give up some import restrictions. Making trade policy changes now would be difficult, but import restrictions that drive up consumers’ food costs are not consistent with an internationally competitive country.
The initial assessments are that agriculture at a national level will be less hard hit than some other industries, but disruptions in supplies will be felt by consumers. Farms in the northeast part of Honshu will suffer the largest impact and may not return to normal for several years. Other areas may face shortages of input or have extra costs in moving products to market. As the government deals with immediate issues of food supply, it will also need to consider long term food supply issues and the role of trade.