Japan's 1960 popu'lation of million just over one-half that of the United States is compressed into an area smaller than California. The principal problem of too many people and too little land is further aggravated by the thin, inherently infertile soils and rugged topography. In spite of these adversities, the skillful Japanese farmers produce 80 percent of the domestic food requirements. This has been made possible by the liberal use of labor and capital, the concentration of production in high calorie-yielding crops, and dependence upon the sea for much of the animal protein.
The agricultural sector accounts for one - seventh of the gross national product and employs nearly one - third of the labor force. Japanese farmers, who enjoy a higher level of living than their counterparts elsewhere in Asia, depend upon nonfarm sources for nearly 40 percent of their income.
Well over 90 percent of Japan's agricultural land is used to produce food crops. Fe'ed grains and forage crops for livestock and agricultural raw materials for industry occupy a minor position. Rice occupies nearly one-half of the planted area and,-on a value basis, accounts for nearly one half of total agricultural income.
In contrast to Western agriculture where the technology adopted has been designed to con serve labor, the primary aim of the land - scarce Japanese agricultural technology has been to increase yields.
At present about three - fifths of the farmland is double cropped. Numerous recent develop ments, Such as earlier maturing varieties, the use of plant beds, and the widespread use of poly ethylene for early-spring frost protection, are aiding in the expansion of the multiple-cropped area. More than half of the cultivated area is irrigated. The heavy pressure of population upon the land and widespread underemployment result in the liberal use of labor. In order to obtain high yields, large capital inputs, especially in the form of fertilizer, are required._ Overall agricultural production has increased an average of 6 percent annually during the past several years. Yields per acre are among the highest in the world.
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Author(s) - Lester Russell Brown
Published Date - August 23 2019
ISBN - 9780260465597
Page Count - 39
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