Sugarcane output lowest since Okinawa’s reversion – affected by typhoon, disease and insects

December 10, 2011 Ryukyu Shimpo

On December 9, in the Economy and Labor Commission of the Okinawa Prefectural Assembly (chaired by Nobuko Tamaki), the head of the Okinawa Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Toshiaki Higa, projected that because of damage caused by typhoons the annual output of sugarcane in the period from 2011 to 2012 will be 650000 tons, the lowest since the Okinawa’s reversion to Japanese administration.

This year, there was frequent damage caused by typhoons, and in the northern part of the main island of Okinawa there was also crop damage due to disease and insects. Annual output is expected to be around 170000 tons less than that of the previous period. Department Chief Higa said, “Farmers’ net income is expected to be down by about four billion yen, which puts them in a difficult situation.” In response to a question from Kazuyuki Zakimi of the Liberal Democratic Party about grants for sugarcane farmers that are raised through a tariff on imported sugar, he also explained that he has asked the central government to increase it by 400 to 500 yen in fiscal 2012.

The Economy and Labor Commission passed 13 bills, including one for partial amendment to an ordinance of Okinawa’s Sports Promotion Council. They also adopted a petition concerning the price of sugarcane and opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

(English translation by T&CT, Lima Tokumori and Mark Ealey)

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