Interview Mitsuru Akiyama Professor, Utsunomiya University
Mima Nishiyama Associate Professor, Utsunomiya University
Tochigi enjoyed the top ninth place in agricultural outputs in Japan in 2016.
For its relatively stable climate and its ideal location near Tokyo metropolitan area, the development of growing rice and wheat, horticulture and farming are well-balanced.
On the other hand, there are also many issues such as aging of farmers, lack of young farmers and global competition.
Professor Mitsuru Akiyama of Utsunomiya University School of Agriculture analyzed and said that it is the time for the farmers in Tochigi to transfer their powers to the next generation.
It is important for the farmers to have not only farmer’s viewpoint but also seller’s viewpoint and diversified activities such as collaboration with other fields are required, added he.
Professor, the Department of Agricultural Economics, Utsunomiya University School of Agriculture. Born in 1958 in Hokkaido. Earned a Master’s Degree at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology Graduate School of Agriculture and a Doctorate at Graduate School of Agricultural and Life Sciences, the University of Tokyo. After working as an assistant of Tohoku University, a full-time lecturer, an assistant professor and then an associate professor of Utsunomiya University, appointed to the present position in 2012.
Also, Associate Professor Mima Nishiyama, considering the agriculture of Tochigi from a standpoint of building communities, said that as mediators between large farmers and consumers the movement of part-time female farmers, people from other prefectures and people back to farming after retirement, will become more important.
Associate Professor, Utsunomiya University School of Agriculture Agricultural Economics. Born in 1966 in Shiga.
Earned a Master’s Degree at Graduate School of Horticulture, Chiba University and a Doctorate in agriculture at Tokyo University of Agriculture and Technology Graduate School. After working as an associate professor of Graduate School of Chiba University, appointed to the present position in October 2016.
Currently, improving efficiency and saving resources are inevitable for the farmers since they are forced to urgently solve the labor shortage issue and improve the work environment.
Therefore, the use of ICT gains increased attention.
Tochigi Prefecture Agricultural College has “Dream Cow Barn” where a cow in labor can be remotely detected.
In “Yume Farm Zenno” growing tomatoes, ICT is used to control the green house environment.
Data accumulation to hand over the skills of experienced farmers to the next generations is also progressed. Some dreams turn out to be real events.