Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate increases slightly to 38%

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Data from Japan

Food and Beverage Company Policy

Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate has increased slightly to 38% in 2021, but it is still far from the government’s target of 45% by 2030.

According to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Japan’s food self-sufficiency rate on a calorie basis was 38% in 2021. This is a one-point improvement from the previous year, when the rate reached an all-time high. The main reason for this increase was an increase in the volume of wheat and soybean harvests. Other factors included a recovery in restaurant demand, which had slowed during the COVID-19 pandemic, and an increase in rice consumption. However, the government’s goal of a 45% calorie self-sufficiency rate by 2030 remains a distant goal.

On the other hand, the rate of self-sufficiency in production value, which tends to be higher than that in calories, fell by four points over one year to reach a historically low level of 63%. This was caused by the increase in import unit prices due to soaring international grain prices and ocean freight rates.

The self-sufficiency rate is calculated excluding livestock products produced from imported feed in order to have precise knowledge of national production. However, the national production rate does not reflect the food self-sufficiency rate, the idea being that all livestock products raised in Japan are considered to be produced in the country. The difference between the self-sufficiency rate and the domestic production rate gives an indication of the degree of dependence on foreign food.

The self-sufficiency rates of the major grain exporting countries, Canada, Australia and the United States, have all well exceeded 100% on a calorie basis. Italy, which exports large quantities of high-priced fruit and vegetables, has demonstrated its high rate of self-sufficiency in production value. Japan’s rates, meanwhile, remained low compared to other countries, both in terms of calories and production values.

(Originally published in Japanese. Banner photo © Pixta.)

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