Rice Farmers in Japan Increasingly Shifting to Wheat, Veggies

Politics

Tokyo, Oct. 17 (Jiji Press)--An increasing number of farmers in Japan have stopped producing rice, for which demand is shrinking, and are instead growing wheat, vegetables and other crops this year, encouraged by the government's subsidies.

The agriculture ministry estimates that at least 3,000 hectares of rice paddies have been converted to crop fields nationwide in 2022, increasing drastically from less than 100 hectares in preceding years.

"The idea of promoting production that meets demand is spreading," a ministry official said.

The ministry said Friday that the area planted with staple rice decreased by 52,000 hectares, or 4 pct, in 2022 from the previous year.

While many rice farmers switched to rice for animal feed, which can be grown without making changes to their paddy fields, an increasing number converted their paddies to crop fields for production of wheat, soybeans, vegetables and fruits.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press