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MAFF UPDATE No.720 (Published on August 10, 2009)

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Number 720
August 10, 2009
A weekly update of news from the Japanese
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
International Policy Planning Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Kasumigaseki 1-2-1, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo 100-8950
Fax: 81-3-5512-7652
Editor: Takao Sato  

Result of the Symposium “Think about the world food security”

On June 30, we held the symposium “Think about the world food security” to deepen the public understanding about the MAFF’s international cooperation through the discussions as to the situations of hunger and poverty and the assistance for them. We had attendance of Mr. Ishida, Senior Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Dr. Masaru Iwanaga, Director General of National Institute of Crop Science, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, and Ms. Naoe Yakiya, Donor & Private Sector relations officer, World Food Programme (WFP) Japan Liaison Office.

 

[Date and Venue]
The symposium was held on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 from 1:30 p.m. to 5:45 p.m. at U-Tant International Conference Hall, United Nations University (5-53-70, Jingu-mae, Shibuya-ku, Tokyo).

 

[Participants]
In total, there were about 270 participants; 51 from private companies, 8 from NPO or NGOs, 68 from MAFF or Public Interest Corporations, 79 students, 21 journalists, and so forth.

 

[Summary of Result]

  1.  Senior Vice-Minister Ishida gave a speech on the importance of the establishment of sustainable agriculture and the improvement of the food production in developing countries as those in Africa. He also said he hoped that this symposium would trigger to solve the problems of food and hunger.
  2.  In the keynote address, Director Iwanaga talked on “the approach of the research and development on food problems” and Officer Yakiya talked on “the current state and approach of the hunger problems.” After these addresses, there were questions and answers from/to the participants such as about the cause of the rise of food prices and the possibility of the expansion of farmland.
  3.  In the panel discussion, Dr. Shobayashi, Professor of Gakushuin Woman’s College chaired the discussion of two keynote speakers and four panelists(refer to the Program);
    1.  The panelists reported on “NGO’s approach to the hunger”, “Global food situation and its future prospect”, “Private investment cases” and “Review of our dietary habit from the hunger in the world” respectively.
    2.  After these reports, they had discussions in two points:
      1. What is important to avoid the global food crisis?
      2. How should Japan deal with these issues based on the understanding of the public about the global food crisis?

The opinions given by the panel was summarized as the following:
*Point 1: Importance of assistance to the measures against global warming which has further negative impact to the food production in the developing countries; assistance to facilitate the ownership of the developing countries; and the importance to promote national awareness about the food crisis.
*Point 2:
a) In Japan, under the circumstance in which the food imports is in a delicate balance: importance of the public to have a sense of crisis on their vulnerability against food crisis; necessity to address strongly to reduce the food loss; and necessity to support domestic small farmers.
b) Infrastructure, cultivation technology and collection/distribution system are all necessary parts of the agricultural assistance for the developing countries; and importance of the Japanese rice farming technology transfer to developing countries such as in Africa.
c) As for the private agricultural investment, the expansion of farmland is possible in Brazil; public assistance is necessary since agricultural projects need infrastructure improvement, and it takes some years to turn a profit.

There were active discussions with the audience such as on Japanese agricultural technology and policy, international agricultural investment and genetically-modified crop production.

Professor Shobayashi, as a coordinator, summarized the panel discussion that Japan is connected to the world with food, and it is one of the resolutions to the food problems to be aware of and understand the connection, and that Japan has many issues to be addressed.

4.   In a closing address, Director of International Cooperation Division of MAFF explained the principle of international cooperation which MAFF is addressing. He also introduced that the opinions are awaited from the public.


[Program]

  1.  Opening Address (from 1:30 p.m. to 1:35 p.m.)
    Mr. Noritoshi Ishida, Senior Vice-Minister of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
  2.  Keynote Address (from 1:35 p.m. to 2:50 p.m.)
    Dr. Masaru Iwanaga, Director General of National Institute of Crop Science,
    National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
    Ms. Naoe Yakiya, Donor & Private Sector relations officer, WFP Japan Liaison Office
  3.  Panel Discussion (from 3:10 p.m. to 5:40 p.m.)
    Coordinator: Dr. Mikitaro Shobayashi, Professor of Gakushuin Woman’s College
    Panelist: Mr. Eisuke Kanda, Special Envoy of Japan International Food for the Hungry
                    Mr. Masaru Yamada, Senior Staff Writer of the Japan Agricultural News
                    Mr. Takuya Saito, Project Manager, Crop Oil Division, Mitsui & CO., LTD.
        Mr. Shigezane Saneshige, Director-General for International Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

 

[Organizers]

Organizer: Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries

Co-host Organizers: National Institute of Crop Science, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization
                            WFP Japan Relations Office

 

STATISTICS


The following statistics are available from the Statistics Planning Division of the Statistics Department (Tel. 03-6744-2037).

1. Index Numbers of Commodity Price in Agriculture, 2008. (Year 2005 Base)
2. Statistics on Lumber, May 2009.
3. Statistics on Plywood, May 2009.
4. Statistics on Milk and Milk Products, May 2009.
5. Statistics on Meat Marketing, May 2009.
6. Periodical Statistics on Marketing of Fruits and Vegetables, Middle 10 days of June 2009.
7. Summary of Survey on Movement of Agricultural Structure, 2009.
8. Summary of Survey on Rural communities operating. (as of February 1, 2009)
9. Cultivation area, Harvested Area and Production of Sugar Cane, 2008.
10. Statistics on Marketing of Fisheries Products in Consuming Areas, May 2009.
11. Monthly Statistics on Marketing of Fruits and Vegetables, May 2009.
12. Index Numbers of Commodity Prices in Agriculture, May 2009.

contact

International Policy Planning Division
International Affairs Department
TEL: +81-3-3591-9681   FAX: +81-3-5512-7652

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