Demand for 2022 Rice in Japan Seen Falling below 7 M. Tons

Politics Economy

Tokyo, Nov. 19 (Jiji Press)--Demand for rice to be produced as a staple food in Japan in 2022 is forecast at 6.92 million tons, falling below 7 million tons for the first time ever, the agriculture ministry said Friday.

The estimated drop is due to the country's declining population, the ministry said in its latest guidelines on rice production. It stressed the need to reduce rice fields by some 40,000 hectares from this year to about 1.26 million hectares by encouraging rice farmers to switch to other produce.

Specifically, the ministry plans to call on farmers to convert their rice paddies to fields for soybeans and corn for animal feed in order to prevent a buildup in rice inventories and stabilize the supply-demand balance for rice.

It will consider measures to support such conversion under the government's planned fiscal 2021 supplementary budget and its fiscal 2022 regular budget.

With the impact of the novel coronavirus pandemic not taken into consideration in the latest estimates, the level of demand for 2022 rice could change from the projected figure.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press