A new vision for agriculture
momagri, movement for a world agricultural organization, is a think tank chaired by Christian Pèes.
It brings together, managers from the agricultural world and important people from external perspectives,
such as health, development, strategy and defense. Its objective is to promote regulation
of agricultural markets by creating new evaluation tools, such as economic models and indicators,
and by drawing up proposals for an agricultural and international food policy.
A look at the news

Japan Strengthens Food Security Policy

05 may 2008

Japan has suffered a butter shortage for several weeks as a result of problems that have been facing the dairy industry for a number of years. Many different causes are to blame, affecting both demand and supply. Indeed, there has been a gradual drop in milk consumption in Japan since 1990, coupled with an increased demand for butter. Two reasons explain this situation: changing consumption habits and the fact that it has become increasingly difficult for producers to pass on price hikes caused by the rising cost of animal feed and the heat wave of summer 2007. The result ¬¬– which we have seen for butter – is that stocks have shrunk to extremely low levels, making it impossible for them to buffer against crises and ensure food security. The drop in the number of dairy farms illustrates the extent of the crisis in Japan's dairy industry even though dairy production has kicked off again on the island of Hokkaido, the country's primary farming area.

However, beyond the butter shortage, it is the difficulties ensuring the general food supply – particularly for meat, fruit and fish – that have sparked concern throughout the country. Japan is now able to provide only 39 percent of the nation's calorie requirements, as opposed to 70 percent right after World War II. In response, the government set the objective in 2005 of becoming self-sufficient for 45 percent of the country's food needs by 2015. Certainly, the current tensions on the international agricultural markets make meeting this objective all the more urgent. For Yasuhiko Nakamura, professor at the University of Tokyo, "the increasing demand in emerging nations and rising prices require Japan to react." This reaction in particular requires modernizing and improving the competitiveness of agriculture in Japan, priorities of the April 2007 law reorienting the country's agriculture sector.

These concerns about food independence were recently expressed by the leaders of Japanese agricultural organizations (JA ZENCHU) during a joint conference with European agricultural organizations (COPA-COGECA) held in Brussels on April 10 to demonstrate the risks that a final WTO agreement would bring, particularly in terms of food security.

1 For more on this issue, read the article dated April 14, 2008 entitled "WTO: Heads of European and Japanese Agriculture Organizations Warn Citizens and Decision-Makers of the Risks of a Possible Trade Agreement" in the "A look at the news" section.
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Paris, 26 April 2019