Agri-food sector impact of March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Northeastern Japan
Dispite intensive multidiciplinary research the overall impact of the March 2011 earthquake, tsunami and Fukushima nuclear accident on Japanese agri-food sector is far from being completely evalusated. That is a concequence of the scale of triple disaster and affected agents, the effects’ multiplicities, spillovers, and long time horizon, the lack of “full” information and models of analysis, on-going challenges with post disaster recovery and reconstruction, etc. This paper presents research findings on multiple impacts of the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami on Japanases agriculture and food sector. First, disaster events and their effects is outlined; next the impacts on agri-food organizations, products, markets and consumers are evaluated; finally, specific and overall short-term and long-term impacts on agriculture, food industries and food consumption in different parts of the country is assessed. The study is based on a wide range of information from diverse organizations as well as original experts assessments of leading experts in the area. Agriculture, food industry and food consumption have been among the worst hit by the disasters areas. There is a great variation of the specific and combined impacts of disasters on different type of farming and business enterprises, particular agents, individual sub-sectors, and specific locations. Disasters have also had positive impacts on the development of certain sectors in the most affected regions and some sectors in other parts of the country as post disaster reconstruction have induced considerable policies and institutional modernization in agri-food and other sectors, food safety information and inspection, technological and product innovation, jobs creation and investment, farmlands consolidation and enhancement, infrastructural amelioration, organizational restructuring, etc. More future studies are necessary to evaluate and update the “known” agricultural and food impacts as further in depth “micro” studies are needed to fully understand the impacts of the disasters in each location and community, type of farms and productions, and component of agri-food chain.