Natural hazard-induced disasters (NHID), such as floods, droughts, severe storms, and animal pests and diseases have significant, widespread and long-lasting impacts on agricultural sectors around the world. With climate change set to amplify many of these impacts, a 'business-as-usual' approach to disaster risk management in agriculture cannot continue if we are to meet the challenges of agricultural productivity and sustainability growth, and sustainable development. Drawing from seven case studies – Chile, Italy, Japan, Namibia, New Zealand, Turkey and the United States – this joint OECD-FAO report argues for a new approach to building resilience to NHID in agriculture. It explores the policy measures, governance arrangements, on-farm strategies and other initiatives that countries are using to increase agricultural resilience to NHID, highlighting emerging good practices. It offers concrete recommendations on what more needs to be done to shift from coping with the impacts of disasters, to an ex ante approach that focuses on preventing and mitigating the impacts of disasters, helping the sector be better prepared to respond to disasters, and to adapt and transform in order to be better positioned for future disasters.
Japan is highly exposed to natural hazards, and agricultural producers in Japan have significant experience in managing the risk of natural hazard-induced disasters (NHID). However, recent large-scale typhoons and heavy rain events have highlighted the importance of increasing the sector’s resilience to NHID. A number of current practices build resilience. Disaster risk governance and agricultural policy frameworks are flexible and responsive to evolving NHID risks. Non-structural measures such as hazard maps are increasingly seen as complementary to infrastructure in preventing and mitigating flood risks. Innovative on-farm solutions for mitigating flood risks, such as the paddy field dam, are also increasingly used. Disaster response is rapid, and disaster assistance prioritises helping producers to resume farming. However, agricultural disaster risk management (DRM) must reflect the challenge of more frequent and intense typhoons and heavy rains in the context of ageing and depopulation in rural areas. Public DRM measures should also be complemented by greater efforts from farmers and other stakeholders, such as agricultural co-operatives, to build agricultural resilience to NHID.
Japan’s agriculture sector has traditionally been characterised by small-scale rice production, but has recently begun to respond to new market opportunities for higher value food products across a rapidly growing East Asia. Today, rice represents less than 20% of the value of agriculture production, and larger, more productive, and more profitable farm businesses now account for more than half of total agriculture output.
In Japan, agriculture has been treated differently from other parts of the national economy. However, policy needs to evolve with new agricultural structures and the global trend towards more integrated value chains, enabling innovation and entrepreneurship in agriculture, and imposing a greater environmental responsibility on producers. Modern agriculture is a technology- and data-intensive industry, and Japan is well-positioned to introduce its competitive technology and skills to agriculture through building more collaborative agricultural innovation system.
Agricultural research fellowship award grants and international conferences sponsorships of the Co-operative Research Programme (CRP): Biological Resource Management for Sustainable Agricultural Systems; advice for applicants for funding.
Japan has the potential to grow its agricultural sector, including by producing high-value products that reflect the country’s growing reputation for sophisticated, healthy, and high-quality food. To assure the long-term health of Japan’s food and agriculture system, it is critical to increase its capacity to respond to market demands.
The report looks at the evolution of Japanese agricultural policy over the last several decades, but maintains its analytical focus on policies currently in place. In addition to reporting a wide variety of statistics, much of which were provided by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF), use was made of the OECD PSE/CSE database and the OECD Policy Evaluation Model (PEM) for some of the analytical work.