Ministers from the G7 nations yesterday agreed to promote agricultural innovation and investment, as farmers face the twin challenges of an aging workforce and extreme weather at a time when international food demand is increasing.
“Motivated, skilled and enterprising farmers are essential for the growth of the agricultural sector,” the ministers said in a joint statement after two days of meetings focused on food security in Niigata Prefecture, Japan.
“We will help farmers enhance their capability and skills” by facilitating access to information and communication technologies, precision farming and agricultural innovations, they said.
The average age of growers in developed countries is now about 60, according to the UN. The average age of Japanese farmers is about 67, government data showed.
“We have so much more in common than we have in differences,” US Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said in a joint news conference. “In this particular meeting, we really focused on those things we have in common”
The meeting was also attended by agriculture ministers, including Japan’s Hiroshi Moriyama, Germany’s Christian Schmidt, Italy’s Maurizio Martina and Canada’s Lawrence Macaulay. The UK was represented by parliamentary under secretary George Eustice, and France by its ambassador to Japan, Thierry Dana.
For Saturday’s dinner Moriyama served the guests premium Kobe beef, which Japan wants to promote overseas, and sake from 90 breweries in Niigata, Japan’s largest rice producing region. The menu also included dishes with vegetables grown in Fukushima Prefecture to showcase the recovery of agricultural production in the area hit by a record earthquake and a nuclear disaster in March 2011.
The ministers agreed to: Increase opportunities for women and youth in the agricultural sector to stimulate development; expand farmers’ participation in food value chains and encourage them to participate in food processing, distribution and service sectors to boost income; fight against animal and plant diseases, and biological threats; establish a cooperation framework for technical information sharing among veterinary authorities in order to tackle the global common challenges in public and animal health; reduce food loss and waste, and support international research cooperation for climate change.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the