Japan has the cheapest fertilizers used to produce corn and soybeans in the world, but farmers are increasingly opting for the cheapest.
In an effort to keep the country’s farming industry thriving, the government is promoting cheap fertilizers for farmers and farmers are using them to boost yields in many parts of the country, a government official said Tuesday.
Farmers in northern areas, where the cost of fertilizers is relatively low, are using fertilizers at a record high, increasing yields by around 7 percent to 9 percent per hectare.
The government is encouraging the use of cheap fertilizer for corn and wheat, the official said.
“We are trying to encourage farmers to use fertilizers that are as cheap as possible,” said Yoshitaka Sugimoto, a minister in charge of farming.
The government wants to encourage the use to increase yields and help farmers cope with rising global temperatures.
“The fertilizers are cheap, and that is why they are going to help us increase yields,” Sugimoto said.
Farming is expected to see another record crop of corn and other grains this year.
But many farmers, especially in central and northern Japan, are looking for a boost in corn production.
The government is pushing for the country to increase corn production by 25 percent to 50 percent, to help offset the expected global price rise.
The price of corn, soybeans and wheat has soared as global markets have been hit by a global supply glut.
The average price of a litre of corn has increased from around $1.20 in July 2017 to $1,320 this year, and the average price for soybeans has risen from $0.95 to $0,960.
The cost of fertilizer for corn has been rising at about 10 percent per year since the mid-1990s, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations said in its latest report.
The report showed that the cost per hectatre of fertilizer was more than five times higher in 2017 than it was in 1999.
The price per hectotre of fertilizer was almost 10 times higher than the cost in 1990, and about 50 times higher from 2009 to 2017, according to the report.
Fertilizer costs were higher in 2015 than in 2000 and 2011.
The food price index in Japan was higher than in most developed nations in 2018, but the increase in the cost was more modest than the 20 percent increase in average prices, the report showed.
The country’s agricultural sector has been affected by the recent global glut of corn.
In 2017, the price of soybeans rose by more than 30 percent to $4.80 per kilogram, the highest increase since 2006, according the Ministry of Agriculture.