Japan increases support for farmers and processors

The government of Japan has announced increased support for dairy farmers and processors to mitigate impact of reduced milk consumption in schools following the government’s decision to close schools due to Covid-19, the US Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service reports.

Approximately 10% of drinking milk in Japan is diverted to school meal use. The support programme is budgeted at $21.5 million (€19.9m) and will provide price supports for excess milk diverted to further processing and non-fat dry milk (NFDM) diverted to animal feed.

Dairy processors will receive payments for NFDM sold for animal feed. NFDM stocks are already at near-historic highs in Japan due to lower than expected consumption in 2019. In March 2019, approximately 22 million litres of school lunch milk was produced, accounting for 8% of total drinking milk production in Japan that month. Most Japanese public primary and middle schools offer students 200ml of milk as a part of the school lunch every day.

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