Friday, July 1, 2022

TPP could revitalise Japan’s agriculture sector

Research by the New Zealand Asia Institute shows the inclusion of Japan in the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) could trigger a revitalisation of its agriculture sector.

The independent research, funded by Fonterra, was done by Professors Hugh Whittaker and Rob Scollay from Auckland University.

They investigated the potential implications of the TPP on the Japanese agricultural sector.

“The Japanese agricultural sector faces a number of challenges. Many small-scale farms are uneconomic while the average age of Japanese farmers and the area of abandoned farmland are both increasing alarmingly,” Scollay said.

“Our research found that participation in TPP could actually be the trigger needed to revitalise and transform Japan’s agriculture into a more vibrant and productive sector with long-term growth potential.”

Economic modelling indicated increased exposure to competition through participation in the TPP and increases in the productivity of Japanese agriculture through reform could play complementary roles in sustaining agriculture and the food processing industries in Japan.

Fonterra’s policy and advocacy director Sarah Paterson said Fonterra decided to fund the research because it wanted to ascertain from an independent source the potential impacts the TPP might have on the agriculture industry in Japan after previous opposition coming from the sector.

“Importantly, the study highlights that Japan’s agricultural sector could be better off as a result of TPP.

“We also believe that reducing trade barriers not only benefits their agricultural sector but will have flow on effects to the end consumer as well, where they’ll be able to enjoy greater choice and more competitively priced food,” Paterson said.

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