Nuclear crisis hits Fukushima cherry farmers

From The daily yomiuri online 4th July 2011 Written by Tatsuya Nozaki, Shinya Kannari and Akihiro Kitaide / Yomiuri Shimbun Staff Writers

Fukushima – As the shipping of brand cherries produced in open fields in Fukushima Prefecture reaches its peak, farmers are being hit hard by sharp drops in sales for gift use and the number of visitors to pick-your-own farms.

The nuclear crisis in the prefecture is apparently behind the declines, although the cherries are selling as well as usual at retail stores, partly because of campaigns to support farm products from the prefecture.

As he removed leaves of Satonishiki cherries, Tamio Kaneko, 71, of the Iizakamachi district of Fukushima, said proudly, “This will make these cherries become even redder.”

Satonishiki cherries, which Kaneko grew in a greenhouse, were served to Prime Minister Naoto Kan, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and South Korean President Lee Myung Bak when they visited Fukushima ahead of the trilateral summit meeting held in Tokyo in May.

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