Dairy Farm Numbers Fall 60% in 20 Years

JAPAN - The number of dairy farming households nationwide has dropped almost 60 percent in the last 20 years, according to Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry data.
calendar icon 17 June 2019
clock icon 1 minute read

The pace of the decline is equivalent to almost three households giving up dairy farming every day.

Reasons for the decline include a harsh working environment that allows few days off and a lack of willing successors. Its effects are beginning to be seen, such as in rising retail prices for milk.

Production down 15 percent

According to the agriculture ministry, the 37,400 dairy farming households nationwide in 1998 had dropped to 15,700 households in 2018, equivalent to 1,085 households per year giving up the business.

Production of raw milk, which is used to make milk and butter, fell from about 8.57 million tons in 1998 to about 7.29 million tons in 2018, a 15 percent decline.

With most dairy farming households being family-run businesses, labor shortages and the difficulty of securing successors are major factors behind the decline.

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Source: The Japan News

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