In a set of measures to cut the impact of trade liberalization under the planned Trans-Pacific Partnership accord, the ruling Liberal Democratic Party has included stronger support for loss-making beef and pork farmers, according to party officials.
The draft measures to shore up the agricultural sector were worked out at Monday’s meeting of the party on agriculture, forestry and fisheries.
Under the measures, support programs for beef and pork producers, financed by the government and the industry, will be expanded to cover 90 percent of the losses incurred by applicant farmers, up from the current 80 percent.
Other measures include an effective increase in the government’s purchases of domestic rice to shore up prices, which are expected to fall due to a planned increase in rice imports under the TPP pact.
The government intends to shorten the storage period for rice stockpiles to three years from the current five, and boost annual purchases of rice from current levels.
The LDP aims to include its measures in a government program designed to deal with the TPP which will be released later this month.
After Monday’s meeting, Shinjiro Koizumi, director of the LDP Policy Research Council’s Agriculture and Forestry Division, said the party will start thorough discussions on how to solve problems that the agriculture sector is facing.
The LDP’s measures also include a sharp rise in the government’s share of costs for the support program for loss-making pork producers, as well as the addition of liquid dairy products, such as cream, to items covered by a business stabilization subsidy program for dairy producers.
Also called for were human resources development to improve the business management skills of farmers, support for the introduction of advanced equipment and facilities, further farmland consolidation and promoting switches to more profitable crops and plants.