Japan’s food self-sufficiency ratio fell to 38 percent on a calorie basis in fiscal 2016, the second-lowest ever, putting a government goal to raise that percentage to 45 percent within a decade in doubt.

The agriculture ministry said on Aug. 9 that the wheat production decline caused by a typhoon in Hokkaido and other factors lowered the ratio, while the calorie-based food self-sufficiency rate was 39 percent over the six years through previous fiscal year.

Although the government is looking to raise the percentage to 45 percent by fiscal 2025, the latest findings show achieving that goal will be difficult.

The food self-sufficiency rate is the ratio of the amount of food for humans and livestock consumed and produced in the country to the total quantity of foodstuffs consumed there.

The figure for fiscal 2016 was just behind 37 percent for fiscal 1993, when Japan had a very poor rice crop.

Damage caused by typhoons and other elements led to a 20 percent decrease in production of wheat and sugar beets compared with the previous year.

The decreasing consumption of rice, whose self-sufficiency ratio is relatively high, and the growing popularity of meat and fat, much of which is imported from other countries, are also a factor behind the continuous decline in the food self-sufficiency rate.

On a production value basis, the food self-sufficiency ratio rose for two consecutive years to 68 percent in fiscal 2016, up 2 percentage points from the previous year, because vegetables and seafood account for a larger portion than other foodstuffs.