Hiroshi Moriyama, minister of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, said Sunday the government will consider a new program to promote domestic farm products under the landmark free trade accord involving Japan, the United States and 10 other Pacific Rim countries.
Under the plan, contributions will be collected from domestic agricultural entities to fund projects that help stimulate demand at home and abroad, Moriyama said on a TV program.
In the United States, there is a similar “checkoff” program, in which funds are collected from producers of particular agricultural commodities to support promotion and research.
Moriyama later told reporters the government will carefully consider the matter as the system would not work without cooperation from producers.
“Details of the program will be studied from scratch,” Moriyama said.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe vowed earlier this month to take measures to beef up the farm sector to brace for market liberalization under the recently sealed Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade deal.
“We will strive to transform defensive agriculture into offensive agriculture so that young people can develop dreams,” Abe said.
Japan will abolish tariffs on all vegetables and most fishery products under the TPP agreement.