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Trend toward stronger agriculture seen in Hokkaido

SAPPORO -- Facing a rapidly changing market, due in part to the pending Trans-Pacific Partnership, Japan's farmers are busily cultivating overseas markets, and many agricultural cooperatives are implementing reforms to become more competitive. In Hokkaido, the country's most agriculturally rich prefecture, farmers are also getting a much-needed hand from cutting-edge technology.

Tomato plants reach a height of 4 meters at a greenhouse in Tomakomai, Hokkaido. A lift is used to harvest the tomatoes.

     The average acreage under cultivation in the northern prefecture was about 26 hectares per farmer in 2013, nearly 11 times the national average of 2.4 hectares. Enticed by this vast and bountiful environment, a number of major companies are bringing technologies originally developed for nonagricultural use to Hokkaido's farms.

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