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Tuesday, 19th May 2009
In Business In Japan,

Japanese banks look to agriculture for growth

Japanese banks are considering agribusiness as an opportunity to grow their funds, it has emerged.

Following the deregulation of farmland use there has been an increase in the number of companies entering the industry, Kydodo News International states.

Hopes have been raised that managing large agriculture operations will become easier and further amendments to the law on agricultural land are proposed.

These could see corporations allowed to hold a 25 per cent stake in a farming firm - up from the current maximum of ten per cent - and lease farmland for up to 50, instead of 20, years.

Such measures could make it easier to raise funds.

Last month Bloomberg reported that the Japanese government was considering providing loans for companies to purchase and lease farmland overseas in order to ensure a stable food supply.

Munemitsu Hirano of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries said the country does not have enough arable land to satisfy domestic needs.

Written by Susan Ballion