Farmers, whose greenhouses and farmlands have been damaged by the snow that fell on Japan in the past weeks, will now be able to receive support from the government. The Agriculture Ministry declared emergency support measures to help the farmers get back on their feet.
Officials from the ministry travelled to the snow-buried farms and orchards in Nagano and Yamanashi prefectures. Assessing the damage, the representatives from the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry estimated the loss to be around 7.1 billion yen (approx. US$69.4 million). Fruit trees starting to grow have lost and broken branches, while the roofs of most greenhouses collapsed under the heavy weight of the snow, destroying both the greenhouse and produce inside. Some farmers are at loss on how to cope with the damage. Others are still reeling from the talks of harmful radiation effects post-Fukushima, only for the farmland to be buried deep under snow. In fact, an avalanche warning has been raised by the Meteorological Agency as snow begins to melt, which many are expecting to add further destruction to their already-damaged properties.
The ministry pledged to shoulder 30% of the costs of rebuilding greenhouses to help the farmers get back on track. They will also be allowed to borrow money without interest for five years, provided it would be used for recovery purposes. The government also plans on offering a subsidy of 200,000 yen ($2,000) per 1,00 square meters of land for replanting, which they hope will somehow ease the burden on those affected.
[via Japan Today]