Farmers Concern Subsidy Reduction for Sugar Cane at TPP Meeting

Farmers Concern Subsidy Reduction for Sugar Cane at TPP Meeting

Sugar cane farmers voiced their concerns at an explanatory meeting on TPP hosted by the government officials at Okinawa Times Building in Naha on October 22.

October 23, 2015 Ryukyu Shimpo

Sugar cane producers and agriculture-related institutions gathered at the Okinawa Times Building in Naha City on October 22 to learn about the Trans Pacific Partnership, which leaders are set to sign off on.

The Agriculture & Livestock Industries Corporation hosted the meeting. The speakers included a member from the Sweetening Resources in the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) who reported the result of the TPP negotiation process. More than 200 people from the related groups including production society and government organizations participated. Producers expressed their concerns, commenting “We can’t be certain how the TPP will impact us until the partnership actually gets implemented.”

The staff from the MAFF stressed that the agreement maintains the Sugar Price Adjustment System, in which monetary compensation amounts are collected from imported goods to fund subsidies for domestic farmers. Saying, “we would like producers and sugar factory owners to continue production while ensuring safety,” the staff further explained, “although there is little direct impact, there is a possibility the agreement will eventually have impact. We want to consider strategies.”

Producers raised questions stating, “We are concerned that subsidies will be removed or reduced if tariffs, which are funding sources, are removed,” and “are there any possibilities to reconsider the partnership?”

(English translation by T&CT and Sayaka Sakuma) 

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