Monday, April 18, 2011

Sold my cows and out of business--to start anew, we need the government to present clear policy

Mr. Terushige Oka (57), Minami Soma City, Fukushima Prefecture

Mr. Oka used to run his dairy farm located within 30 kilometers from Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant and people in the area are ordered indoors.

"We have no cows anymore. we sold them all. When the power plant exploded on March 15th, we evacuated but we had a chance to come back once. That was when I sold them. I started this dairy farm when I was 25 years old and have worked hard to increase the number of the cows to 47. I had both milking cows and black cattle for meat. I used to earn 10 million yen annually. How much do you think I got when I sold them? Only 800,000 yen.

But my case was better. Some dairy farmers that I have known still take care of their cows. You need to pump milk everyday and feed them. Yet, you need to dump the milk since you cannot ship it in the market.

When the government drew the line by the distance from the plant in deciding whom to be compensated, they should have destroyed the cows. Same is true to other farmers as well. Salarymen can survive even if their company collapses. They could find another company. But Farmers cannot do anything if it goes out of business. Yet, I still hope to start my dairy farm again. But even if I buy new cows now, I cannot do anything because I am in the area where people are ordered indoors. I would like the government to clearly show their policy as soon as possible.

Daily Sports Newspaper, "Photo Gallery," April 13, 2011

Translated by Yuka Yamashita

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