Japan is hoping its Baby Boomers, which begin to retire in 2007, will revive the nation's ag industry by turning to farming in their golden years. The Kyodo News reports this week that a fiscal 2005 white paper on ag concluded Japanese ag "is in a critical situation because of aging farmers and an increase in abandoned farmland."

The report says 80,000 people became first-time farmers in 2003, and more than 70% were 50 years old or older. The Kyodo News says Japan's government plans to promote more Boomer participation in ag because it's "important to secure enthusiastic and capable human resources as workforce in agriculture in a variety of ways."
-- Joe Roybal