14,099 vinyl greenhouses in 29 prefectures were damaged or destroyed, according to the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry.
Heavy snowfalls in the Kanto and Koshin regions caused damage costs totaling more than ¥50 billion in Tokyo and four other prefectures.
Vinyl greenhouses collapsed in many parts of the regions, delivering a heavy blow to farmers on their way to recovery from harmful rumors about radiation that resulted from the crisis at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s Fukushima No. 1 nuclear power plant.
The greenhouses of a strawberry farmer in Fuefuki, Yamanashi Prefecture, collapsed under the weight of snow on Feb. 15. All 13,000 strawberry plants bearing ripe fruit in eight greenhouses were destroyed, with financial damage estimated at more than ¥30 million.
In Maebashi, despite reinforcing his greenhouses to resist the weight of snow, all of a cucumber farmer’s 14 greenhouses collapsed.
In Iida, Nagano Prefecture, record snowfall of 81 cm (32 inches) collapsed 14 greenhouses housing tomato, green peppers and other crops.
“We’re starting at a loss. My fellow farmers also are feeling the same,” a disappointed 57-year-old farmer in Oyama, Tochigi Prefecture, said, with drooping shoulders in front of his collapsed vinyl greenhouses. The city is a leading tomato producer.
At a farm in Yokoze, Saitama Prefecture, seven of 13 greenhouses where tourists can pick strawberries as well as greenhouses for grapes and shiitake mushroom lie in ruins.
The Yamanashi prefectural government on Monday announced that 1,723 facilities had been damaged by the snow, with total financial damage standing at ¥7.09 billion.
“About 80 percent of vinyl greenhouses for grapes collapsed,” said Yamanashi Gov. Shomei Yokouchi.
Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for this link