New technologies, such as drones for fertilizer and pesticide application and GPS-equipped rice transplanting machines, can help Japanese rice farmers be more price-competitive.
Currently, locally produced rice is far more expensive than imported rice. Smart farm technologies could reduce labor-hours required for rice cultivation by 50% and increase yields by 10% to 20%. Lowering the retail prices of domestic rice could boost declining rice consumption in the country as well as create export demand.
In 2019, the ministry launched the first smart farming demonstration project for rice cultivation by renting equipment to agricultural cooperatives and others across the country.
Read the full story at Nikkei Asian Review.
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