Japón: Japan govt to support local potato production to prevent another shortage
The agriculture ministry will help domestic potato farmers increase production following a shortage due to bad weather that has adversely affected potato chip makers, sources said Tuesday.
The potato crop was poor, particularly in Hokkaido Prefecture, last year due to typhoons, forcing major domestic snack makers Calbee Inc. and Koike-Ya Inc. to halt sales of some products from spring this year to September. Some 80 percent of potatoes for chips are grown in Hokkaido.
The ministry has included ¥3 billion for related costs in its budget request for fiscal 2018, the sources said.
To help Hokkaido farmers produce enough potatoes to supply processors, the ministry plans to shoulder half of the farmers’ costs for introducing large harvesting machines and potato varieties that are resistant to diseases and pests, the sources said. The ministry will also back efforts to boost production of seed potatoes, according to the sources.