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Japanese Cattle Farmers Are Highly Subsidized

16 November 2007

JAPAN - Farmers may be surprised to hear of Japanese farmers enjoying help on capital and subsidy from government to put up and run their own cattle farms.

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"It was in the form of money. Sixty to 70 percent of cost was given by government,"

Munemitu Watanabe

Three years ago, Munemitu Watanabe established his own barn in Tome City, Miyagi province at Japan’s northern Tohoku region where he now tends 100 head of dairy cattle.

This cost $ 1.5 million of which government’s financial support was significant.

"It was in the form of money. Sixty to 70 percent of cost was given by government," Watanabe said in Japanese in an interview.

That is equivalent to $ 900,000 to $ 1.05 million.

This is not the only help Watanabe gets from the state. A liter of milk is sold at ¥ 90. Of this ¥ 20 is subsidy from the government representing 22 percent of selling price.

In a year, he grosses ¥ 65 million in a farm where help is from his own family members—a wife that runs the office, a son, and a few farm help. One-fourth of this is the net profit.

Another farmer, Sakio Takahashi, keeps his own cattle farm at Isawa Ward, Oshu City at Iwate province in the same region.

His farm is mainly for breeding and for supplying other farms with fattening calves sold when these are eight to 10 months old.

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Source: Manila Bulletin



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