Why Japan's wasabi farmers fear climate change

Reuters -- Jul 13
Experts say global warming is posing a real threat to the production of wasabi. And it’s not only the typhoons.

Rising temperatures are also threatening the growth of the plants which need to be in water at a consistent 50-60 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

Kyoko Yamane is an associate professor of applied Biological Sciences at Gifu University.

"Global warming is considered to be one of many factors affecting wasabi production. When the water temperature rises, the amount of oxygen decreases which affects the growth of wasabi. The decreasing snow cover indirectly results in animals creating more damage to wasabi fields, which also discourages farmers. In addition to this, damage from flooding becomes more frequent and that hits farmers as well."

It's not just the weather that's impacting wasabi farmers.

A drop in rural populations due to ageing means there are also fewer successors.