7 Juillet 2016
July 7, 2016
Cattle farming has restarted on a trial basis in a town near the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
After the 2011 nuclear accident, evacuation orders were issued for most parts of Naraha Town. All of the 40 or so cattle breeders in the area suspended their business or gave it up.
The evacuation order for the town was lifted last September. The town's government decided on test breeding to pave the way for reviving its livestock industry.
Shuko Watanabe took on the task from the town. Four female calves were delivered to his farm on Wednesday. He led them into the cattle shed and gave them fodder.
The test will continue until the end of this year to confirm its safety. Town officials say they hope farmers will resume full operation in January.
About 9,000 dollars are needed to purchase one calf. The town provides subsidies, but farmers must shoulder about half of the cost.
And it takes at least 2 years to ship the cattle, meaning no revenues during the period.
Watanabe said he is happy to be able to keep cattle once again, adding that he'll work hard even though he must restart from scratch.