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Japan’s manufacturing sector is renowned for cutting-edge techniques based on the philosophy of continuous improvement. In contrast, the nation’s agricultural sector is characterised by an ageing workforce that relies heavily on time-honoured practices. Now, however, industrial technology is helping modernise Japan’s agriculture sector and increase exports.

In 2019, Japan’s combined annual exports of agricultural, forestry and fisheries products and food were JP¥912.1 billion (US$8.79 billion), marking a record high for the seventh consecutive year. Yet Japan’s agricultural industry has even greater ambitions, with plans to reach export targets of JP¥2 trillion by 2025 (US$19.28 billion), and JP¥5 trillion (US$48.21 billion) by 2030. While these figures are impressive, conventional Japanese farming techniques are presently labour-intensive and the average age of farmworkers is almost 67.

Consequently, various stakeholders are exploring ways to modernise farming practices and increase productivity. Producers are becoming aware of the need to transition from the prevailing “product-first” model, to a “customer-first” or “market-oriented agriculture” model. Technology plays a major role in helping producers pivot to this new style of agriculture.

Source: BBC Future

Date: March 4th, 2021



  1. ”  smart agriculture is also a boon for producers in terms of the workforce. “It can reduce the need for physical labour, saving time and manpower, while also providing a way for those without a background in agriculture to enter the sector, such as the tech-savvy younger generation ” How might you sell this sort of technology as a service?
  2. Will a ” tech-savvy younger generation ” be enticed into agriculture because of technology?

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