Japan’s initiative to boost rice exports to Singapore

rice japan-Ammar Abd sxc.huJapanese rice export association has announced the launch of an initiative to export more rice to Singapore

The programme titled ‘This is Japan Quality’ was developed by the Japan Rice and Rice Industry Export Promotion Association in partnership with the Agriculture Ministry to ‘expand Japanese culinary culture by highlighting the merits of Japanese rice.’

“It aims to ultimately increase the amount of rice and rice products exported globally by first focusing on Singapore,” the association’s chairman Ryo Kimura said.

In particular, the body aims to use Singapore as a strategic springboard to spread Japanese culinary culture in Southeast Asia and fuel interest in Japanese rice products.

The agriculture ministry estimates that Japan exported more than 1,200 tonnes of rice valued at more than US$3.05mn to the city-state in 2014, which is about 10 times the amount exported to China.

The association has also designed a new logo for Japanese rice products and a website with information about Japanese rice. The rice will have QR codes on the packaging that will enable buyers to have easy access to the website.

Akira Karasawa, director general for crop production at the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, added at the launch event that the Japanese government is trying to promote the export of agriculture and fishery products globally.

Japan’s global export value of rice is small at only US$11.5mn last year. The government has set a goal of raising the export value of rice and rice products to around US$50mn by 2020, Karasawa revealed.

He added that one of the reasons for launching the initiative in Singapore is due to the nation’s high income level.

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