Japanese Dairy Farmers in Bind amid Virus Crisis

Politics Economy

Tokyo, April 30 (Jiji Press)--Dairy farmers and companies in Japan are facing the grim prospect of having to dispose of raw milk due to tumbling demand, with many businesses shut amid the new coronavirus outbreak.

Milk production usually peaks between late April and mid-June, after many cows give birth in spring.

"Please buy one more bottle than usual," agriculture minister Taku Eto has said, urging people to consume milk and other dairy products.

"I don't know why I'm doing dairy farming," a 39-year-old dairy farmer in Chigasaki, Kanagawa Prefecture, south of Tokyo, said with a beleaguered sigh.

Farmers need to continue production even when there is little demand, because if they stop milking, cows can get sick, or die in the worst-case scenario.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press