Organic farms’ economic strife in Japan

YUYA Shibakai sometimes feels he is ploughing a lonely furrow. The Japanese farmer produces organic lettuce, tomatoes, carrots and other vegetables for a market that has tasted nothing like the success of the sector in other advanced economies.

On his farm outside Tokyo, the 32-year-old doggedly trudges along a line of lettuces, pulling up weeds by hand.

Shibakai says it is a “daily struggle to find ways to make a profit using a system you could call inefficient, where you have to pull all the weeds out by hand.”

“We need a different supply s…
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