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Sugarcane cultivation and sugar industry in Japan

Matsuoka, Makoto
Sugar tech 2006 v.8 no.1 pp. 3-9
breeding, cattle feeds, drought, energy, environmental factors, farmers, islands, labor, livelihood, mechanization, soil fertility, subtropics, sugar industry, sugarcane, summer, temperature, typhoons, winter, Japan
In Japan, sugarcane is grown only in the South-western Islands, at the southern most end of the Japanese Archipelago. Most of these islands are in the subtropics, natural and environmental conditions are fairly severe to sugarcane cultivation because of frequent typhoons, droughts in summer, low temperatures in winter and poor soil fertility. In recent years, sugarcane production has been sluggish due to the lack of labour caused by the aging of farmers, a delay of mechanization in cultivation and unfavorable weather conditions. However, since sugarcane is still a major crop and plays a key role that supports the livelihood of the region, the network of sugarcane technologists is continuing the united efforts to improve sugarcane production in the region. This paper reviews the outline of current situation of sugarcane production, sugar industry, general cultivation practices and sugarcane breeding outline in Japan, and also discusses about new approaches to breed new types of sugarcane, as a energy use and cattle feed through inter-specific and intergeneric cross.