Gov't to help farmers hit by heavy snow

TOKYO —

The agriculture ministry has announced emergency support measures for farmers who suffered damage to their produce due to the recent heavy snowfall.

Last weekend, ministry officials visited orchards and farms in Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures to get a first-hand look at the damage. Many greenhouses collapsed because of the heavy snow and fruit tree branches were broken. 

TBS reported Tuesday that in Yamanashi, the amount of damage to grapes and peaches is estimated at 7.1 billion yen.

The ministry said that it will pay 30% of the costs of rebuilding greenhouses and allow farmers to borrow the necessary money for recovery without interest for five years. The government will also subsidize replanting at the rate of 200,000 yen per 1,000 square meters, TBS reported.

Meanwhile, the Meteorological Agency has issued an avalanche warning as snow melts in some areas, saying that temperatures are expected to rise to 15-17 degrees on Thursday and Friday. 

Japan Today

  • 2

    jpntdytmrow

    Too bad for these orchards. Everyone loves peaches, nashi and grapes from these areas! Just had a broken glass window replaced today. Called yesterday, replaced today! Insurance companies are doing a great job that I can see. Tiles are off older buildings, veranda roofs have popped and car ports crushed. Snow still falling off of roofs. Ours went mosthly from Wednesday to Sunday. No one injured because we blocked off the dangerous parts and kept a keen eye out. Only broken gutters and fences. Lucky. The home repair person we use said his company has about 170 or more places to estimate and repair. Avalanches not only in mountains, but on the hills and slopes that are right next to homes. There are places where homes have been built up the side of lower mountains. Even in parts of Tokyo, like Mogusa-en, which looks scary to me. Not out of the woods yet! JSDF really did a great job, although should have arrived earlier some say.

  • 5

    fxgai

    Wait, the government is insolvent as it is, where does this cash come from?

    Can't the farmers just buy insurance by themselves like in any normal market oriented country? These old farmers get so much protection in the form of trade tariffs already, pushing up the costs of food for us innocent tax payers...

    I'm all for fruit and vegetables but this isn't North Korea. Abenomics has gotta get to work on fixing up this sector of Japan's economy, it's such a drag.

  • 3

    bruinfan

    I agree, I wish the wealthier farmers (net worth of ¥100,000,000 or more) could set up a fund for their less fortunate brethren.

  • 1

    JeffLee

    "Wait, the government is insolvent as it is, where does this cash come from?"

    Nope, the gov't is perfectly solvent. Why do you think long-term int rates here are the world's....lowest!!! Hello? The cash comes from the government, which over and over for many years has proved that it can meet any and all its obligations (unlike Greece).

    "Can't the farmers just buy insurance by themselves like in any normal market oriented country?"

    I agree with you there.

  • 2

    HonestBloke

    Don't by insurance. Just have the government come pick my pocket.

    Broken branches? Yeah. Just take some of our tax money and get some new ones at D2!

    Snow on the greenhouse? No. Don't get up and get it off. Its the middle of winter and you farmers have been watching TV all day and need your sleep. Just let it collapse. All the money you need is taken out of my paycheck automatically. No probs.

  • 1

    Jeff Huffman

    Many greenhouses collapsed because of the heavy snow and fruit tree branches were broken.

    Many greenhouses collapsed and fruit tree branches were broken because framers neglected to clear the heavy snow. There. Fix it for you.

    Goodness, we're talking about Nagano and Yamanashi, where is snows pretty much all winter long. What else to farmers in these prefectures have to do in the winter? Japanese farmers have been treated as wards of the state for about 60 years now.

  • 0

    knowitall

    Many greenhouses collapsed and fruit tree branches were broken because framers neglected to clear the heavy snow.

    Now that is an ignorant statement if I have ever heard one. The the RECORD BREAKING snowfall occurred in a short period of time, much of it overnight. Access to fields and greenhouses was pretty much cut off in many of these areas. You make is sound so easy when you sit behind a keyboard not having actually been to any of these places to see with your own eyes (I have, by the way). This was not a normal snowfall. And it was in areas that usually do not see much snow.

    I guess negligence needs to be redefined as failing to go outside in a blizzard in the middle of the night to shovel snow.

  • 1

    jpntdytmrow

    People could not even open the front door on the 15th. A roof collapsed into a window of mine and it took hours just to reach that roof that was say, less than 10 meters from the door. We had 12 people doing back-breaking labor for 2 full days.Shovels were breaking under the weight. Icy in the morning, melting into heavy slush in midday and freezing up into blocks of ice later in the evening. Many of the people doing this hard labor are over 70. It was no easy task. One of the "tools" we had was a car hood turned over and used as a sled. Some places are still inaccessible and landslides and roof melts are happening or lurking. The melting snow quickly returned to treacherous ice.This was no average snow fall.

  • 0

    fxgai

    JeffLee,

    Nope, the gov't is perfectly solvent.

    Yes, they can always change the law and have the BOJ buy with new money as much debt as the government can issue. But having the option of inflation available is not enough to meet my definition of solvency.

    Why do you think long-term int rates here are the world's....lowest!!! Hello? The cash comes from the government,

    It comes from the BOJ. They are buying 70% of newly issued debt. But there is no rational reason for anyone to buy JGBs. With the government aiming for 2% inflation, and yields on the benchmarks around 0.6%, anyone buying JGBs is financially insane. Or just a well-behaved Japanese market participant :)

    "Can't the farmers just buy insurance by themselves like in any normal market oriented country?"

    I agree with you there.

    Excellent :)

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