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Fukushima farmers’ efforts serve to undo TEPCO’s damage

Mobilization of Fukushima farmers. Credit: Fukushima Farmers Federation

April 19, 2022
About Fukushima farmers’ compensation, here is the Tweet thread posted by Mako Oshidori (see note at bottom) translated by us :

“The financial compensation given to farmers after the nuclear accident is designed so that the difference between sales before and after the accident is paid to them as compensation for ‘image damage.

Farmers are developing their own varieties, developing their own sales networks, and conducting experiments to limit the transfer of cesium from the soil to the vegetables.
As a result of all these efforts, when sales returned to pre-accident levels, the compensation became zero.
“Thus, our efforts serve to cancel the damage caused by TEPCO!”

2) Cesium in the soil is still present, so “this is not just an image problem, but real damage.”
Members of the Fukushima Farmers Federation continue to renew their demands for “radiation protection policy for farmers.”

It is TEPCO that benefits from the effects of the slogan “Eating Fukushima products for solidarity” which leads to reducing the amount of compensation received by farmers.
Moreover, if a farmer does not continue to operate in Fukushima, there will be no compensation.

3) Farmers in Fukushima have been trying to find a way to prevent the transfer of cesium from the soil to the crops.
In the years immediately following the accident, vegetables from neighboring counties have been found to have higher levels of cesium than those from Fukushima.

There are still agricultural lands with surface contamination above the standard of the radiation control zone defined by the Ordinance on the Prevention of Radiation Risks.
Negotiations for the establishment of the radiation protection policy for farmers are continuing this year.


Note:
The couple Mako and Ken OSHIDORI are known in Japan as manzaishi (comedy duo in the style of folk storytellers). As soon as the Fukushima nuclear accident began in March 2011, Mako decided to attend TEPCO press conferences in order to access information that was dramatically missing from the media. With the help of Ken, her husband and work partner, she became a freelance journalist, one of the most knowledgeable on the Fukushima issue, and feared as such by TEPCO.
https://nosvoisinslointains311.home.blog/2022/04/19/les-efforts-des-agriculteurs-servent-a-annuler-les-actes-prejudiciables-de-tepco/?fbclid=IwAR1Q9OkhLPO07bp6RxeTxwqHZ-U5HO4Wwaj_igq-aK7dunkrkKvx9J_jy1Y

April 23, 2022 Posted by | Fuk 2022 | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fukushima Farmers Struggle

The technology to fully decontaminate a contaminated land has not yet been invented. Despite of all their efforts and hopes, those farmers’ struggle is just beginning and will last for ages…

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Farmers in Fukushima are struggling to revive their livelihoods. The 2011 nuclear accident and subsequent evacuation devastated farms — the area’s main source of jobs.

Some areas, like the village of Iitate, have lifted most of their evacuation orders. But getting back to normal is taking some time.

More than 200 farmers used to raise cows in this region. But 2 months after authorities lifted their evacuation order, few farmers have tried to return to raising animals.

Six cows were released into a paddy field to graze. It’s a step to revive the farm work that was widely seen in Iitate village.

One farmer is using his cows as an experiment that could bring hope to others.

After the animals eat these fields for 2 months, they’ll have their blood tested to check if they have been influenced in any way by radioactive material.

“It’s finally starting. For those who are worried or not confident about resuming cattle raising, I hope what I’m doing will encourage them,” says the farmer, Takeshi Yamada.

Before the accident, farmers in Iitate used to cultivate some 2,300 hectares of land. But this year, only 20 are being used to grow rice and buckwheat.

Some 60 farmers plan to resume farming this year — a small fraction of the previous total.

A major concern behind the slow uptake is the uncertainty farmers have about being able to sell their produce. Surface soil in the area was removed to help decontaminate the ground, but doing that also lowered its fertility.

Another challenge according to farmers is weakened community bonds.

“We used to work together. We were ready to take on whatever tasks we had. But it’s been 6 years, and the motivation to work is low. Nobody now says ‘let’s work together,'” says farmer Koichi Aoki.

To counter their plight, farmers are doing small things.

They formed a group of volunteers to remove weeds. They’re planting flower seeds to beautify the land and keep weeds from coming back. And there’s an even bigger benefit.

“We’ve been protecting our farmland. We want to keep it from turning to wasteland. And by working together, we’ll be able to form human bonds again. That’s our main goal,” says farmer Masuo Nagasho.

It will take time, but people here are hopeful these small steps are just the beginning.

https://www3.nhk.or.jp/nhkworld/en/news/editors/3/fukushimafarmersstruggle/

 

June 11, 2017 Posted by | Japan | , , | Leave a comment

Government subsidies to help Fukushima farmers restart operations

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The central government plans to set up a new subsidy system to help farmers in 12 municipalities near the stricken Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant restart their operations, according to sources.

The program represents part of the government’s efforts to promote the reconstruction of areas damaged by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in the Tohoku region and the subsequent meltdowns at the Tokyo Electric Power Co. nuclear station.

The government will earmark around ¥7 billion for the program under a planned supplementary budget for its special account related to the 2011 disaster, the sources said Monday.

The program will help farmers buy equipment and livestock.

A support system is already available in which the 12 municipalities in Fukushima Prefecture buy facilities and equipment such as greenhouses and tractors and lend them for free to farmers aiming to get back on their feet.

But the system is inconvenient for individuals who want to resume farming operations, because it is mainly designed for group farming and other big operations. Also, approval from local assemblies is necessary to lend out the facilities and gear.

Under the new program, the Fukushima Prefectural Government will cover 75 percent of farmers’ purchase costs for farming equipment and livestock, the sources said. The upper limit on support per farmer will likely be ¥10 million, they said.

The central government will shoulder all costs incurred by prefectural government, the sources said.

The 12 municipalities are Tamura, Minamisoma, Kawamata, Hirono, Naraha, Tomioka, Okuma, Futaba, Namie, Kawauchi, Katsurao and Iitate.

http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2016/08/23/national/state-subsidies-works-help-fukushima-farmers-restart-operations/

August 23, 2016 Posted by | Fukushima 2016 | , , , | Leave a comment