Thursday, March 05, 2009

Honeybee shortage threatens fruit and vegetable producers in Japan

I had heard about this problem earlier, and it sounded much more acute the first time I read about it. It is a very real problem which probably has its roots in social trends. It doesn't seem that market forces are enough to encourage people to enter certain areas of labor. The media is full of stories about people who have lost their jobs because of the current economic condition, but at the same time there are whole areas of the economy that are begging for workers. One of those areas is agriculture.

JA was anticipating people would want to become farmers in this economic climate, but they are as yet underwhelmed. A bus company in Kyushu advertised for drivers, who they would train and employ, but no one showed up. While at the same time a small municipality advertised for 5 public servant posts, and got over 900 applications.

People seem to want to avoid "three K" jobs, kitsui, kitanai, kiken, or tiring, dirty, and dangerous. The bee shortage seems to be a similar problem

The honeybee shortage is attributable to a sharp decrease in the number of those kept by beekeepers.
I just don't think the Japanese population is hungry enough yet. Look how much of what they have they waste.

Honeybee shortage threatens fruit and vegetable producers in Japan

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