Japan's Food Self-Sufficiency Rate Ties Record Low

Politics Economy

Tokyo, Aug. 6 (Jiji Press)--Japan's food self-sufficiency rate fell one percentage point to 37 pct on a calorie basis in fiscal 2018 from the previous year, tying the lowest level on record, the agriculture ministry said Tuesday.

The lowest record was last marked in fiscal 1993, when Japan was hit by a historically poor rice harvest amid unstable weather.

The fiscal 2018 drop reflected lower wheat and soy production in Hokkaido, as the northernmost prefecture suffered lower than normal levels of sunlight and low temperatures. The average amount of wheat production per unit area fell some 15 pct from the previous year.

The food self-sufficiency rate was also hampered by rising dependency on foreign grain feed for animals such as cows and pigs as a result of bad weather, in addition to increased imports of beef and dairy products.

On the other hand, recovering catches of scallop and good sardine hauls helped buoy the self-sufficiency rate.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press