Japanese agriculture…the basics
Japan’s key agricultural outputs include livestock, vegetables and rice, with fruits and flowers rounding out the top five. The country has the lowest food self-sufficiency amongst major developed countries, at 39%. This is partially due to a decrease in rice consumption (rice can be a self-sufficient crop in Japan), and an increase in the consumption of livestock products and fats. By comparison, the United States is 122% self-sufficient in food.
Major challenges faced by Japan’s agricultural sector include labour shortages, aging farm population, decrease in agricultural production, increase in farmland being abandoned or taken out of production and a continuous decline in the food self-sufficiency ratio. Since 1960, Japan has experienced a 53% decrease in the number of farms, and a 77% decrease in the number of people working in the agricultural sector.