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農業政策 バラマキいつまで続けるのか

The Yomiuri Shimbun (Dec. 11, 2012)
Farmers need to be taken off the dole
農業政策 バラマキいつまで続けるのか(12月9日付・読売社説)

With trade liberalization in mind, strengthening the structure of the nation's agricultural sector cannot be delayed any longer.
 貿易自由化をにらんで農業の体質強化は待ったなしである。

However, the campaign platforms of the leading parties in the upcoming House of Representatives election give prominent place to dole-out policies aimed at wooing farm votes. We would rather have them pursue policies to actually create a strong farm sector.
 ところが、衆院選の政権公約では、「農村票」を目当てにしたばらまき路線が目立つ。強い日本農業を実現する政策こそを競うべきだ。

One point at issue is the income compensation system for individual farming households. The program, an election pledge of the Democratic Party of Japan for the 2009 lower house election and introduced in fiscal 2010, provides uniform government subsidies to rice and other farmers.
 農業政策の焦点は、戸別所得補償制度の見直しである。
 民主党が2009年衆院選の政権公約に掲げ、10年度から導入した。コメ農家などに補助金を一律に支払う仕組みだ。

For this election, the DPJ is promising to upgrade the program into a law-based system.
民主党は今回、所得補償を法律に基づく制度に格上げすると公約している。

In fiscal 2011, the budget for the income compensation program grew to 540 billion yen--one-fourth of the total farm-related budget.
 所得補償制度の11年度の予算規模は5400億円に膨らみ、農業予算の4分の1を占める。

Despite the massive amount of money spent, the program can hardly be said to have enlarged the scale of the nation's farms or improved their farming operations. On the contrary, it encourages small producers to continue farming just to receive subsidies.
 巨費を投じたにもかかわらず、規模拡大や経営改善につながったとは言い難い。
 それどころか、生産性の低い零細農家が補助金目当てに農業を続ける現状を招く結果となった。

Policies with questionable cost-effectiveness must be reviewed.
費用対効果が極めて乏しい政策は見直さなくてはならない。

===

LDP policy also flawed

By the same token, the Liberal Democratic Party's farm proposal is also problematic in many respects.
 自民党の公約にも問題が多い。

Although the LDP is calling for a full review of the income compensation system, it supports a law that would provide subsidies to rice, fruit, vegetable and livestock farmers as long as they maintain their farmland.
所得補償制度は全面的に見直すというが、農地の維持を条件に、コメだけでなく果樹や野菜、畜産農家にまで対象を広げ、補助金を支給する新法を制定する方針だ。

This is nothing but an expansion of the current farm subsidy program. How can paying farmers just to maintain their land help boost agricultural productivity?
 所得補償の拡大以外の何物でもない。農地を持っていれば補助金がもらえる政策が、果たして生産性向上につながるだろうか。

Only by focusing government support on highly motivated, full-time farmers will the nation's agricultural sector be able to stand on its own and maintain the support of tax-paying consumers.
 意欲的な専業農家に支援を集中してこそ、農業が産業として自立でき、税負担する消費者の理解も得られよう。

The LDP is also advocating reconstituting the budget for improving farmland, which the DPJ-led administration has cut significantly. This is just another dole-out policy and will do nothing to realize the "competitive and aggressive farming sector" the LDP claims to support in its election platform.
 自民党は、民主党政権が大幅に削減した土地改良事業費を復活させる方針も掲げた。これでは二重のばらまきだ。公約で示した「競争力のある攻めの農業」など到底、実現できまい。

With farming so unprofitable, fewer and fewer young people are choosing to take over family farms, which has accelerated the graying of the farm population. To put an end to this vicious cycle, the government needs to present a vision to rehabilitate the farm sector.
 収益が上がらないから、後継者が減り、高齢化が進む――。悪循環を断ち切るには、農業再生への将来展望を示す必要がある。

===

Get ready to join TPP

As Japan prepares to join the talks over the Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade pact, the ability of Japan's farm sector to compete internationally must be strengthened. The government's target of raising the average acreage in rice paddy cultivation to 10 times the current two hectares in five years began with a roar but appears to be ending with a whimper.
 環太平洋経済連携協定(TPP)交渉参加へ、国際競争力を高めねばならない。1戸当たり平均2ヘクタールの水田面積を5年間で10倍超にする政府目標も掛け声倒れだ。

The course of action that needs to be taken is clear: Integrate the production, processing and sales of farm products; gradually abolish the reduction of paddy acreage, which only hurts farmers' drive to produce; and encourage young farmers and parties from other industries who want to enter the farm sector.
 生産・加工・販売を一体化した体制の整備、生産意欲をそぐ減反の段階的廃止、若者や異業種参入組の積極的育成など、進むべき方向は明らかだろう。

Just like politicians who only see rice paddies as "voting blocs," the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives group is apparently pressing candidates to show their loyalty in the form of TPP opposition in return for farm votes. This only prevents our nation's farm sector from becoming self-reliant.
 TPP反対を応援条件に候補者に踏み絵を迫るJAグループも、「水田」を「票田」としか見ない政治家と同様、農業の自立を自ら妨げている。

Moving away from a subsidy-soaked agricultural administration would be a first step toward rejuvenating the farm sector.
 補助金漬け農政からの脱却が、農業再生への第一歩だ。

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Dec. 9, 2012)
(2012年12月9日01時32分 読売新聞)
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by kiyoshimat | 2012-12-12 05:31 | 英字新聞

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