Tokyo / DPA
Japan will launch a project under which the public and private sectors will join hands in selling dietary supplements and seasonings at low prices to developing countries in Africa and other areas, in a bid to improve nutrition in those countries, Japanese government sources said.
The project is also expected to help Japanese food manufacturers start operations in these countries and increase food exports to them.
The Japanese government plans to set up a consultative meeting on public-private cooperation in this endeavour by the end of this year. Arrangements are being made for Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to officially announce the launch of the project at a meeting of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) scheduled for August in Kenya.
The consultative body will comprise the Foreign Ministry, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), food companies and others. They will cooperate to sell supplements and seasonings at low prices so they can be used as additives to local food.
The government and JICA will support Japanese companies by carrying out surveys on the food favoured by local people, and seeking action from the governments of those countries to ensure they permit and approve the sale of Japanese products there.
For food companies, the project offers an opportunity to make their food brands better known to African and other nations that could expand their future exports when those nations have achieved economic development. It will also help the government to continue aiding developing countries at lower costs.