Agriculture ministry launches campaign and website to build better bridge between consumers and farmers

TOKYO, July 21 – The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries announced on July 20 the launch of Nippon Food Shift, a national campaign aimed at closing the gap between consumers and food producers. The ministry will work together with the private sector to promote efforts made by the agriculture industry and farming villages, so that consumers will change their behavior and choose to buy domestically-made farm produce. The ministry set up a website on the campaign the same day and started soliciting ideas to inspire consumers to appreciate the origins of their food. The new basic plan for food, agriculture and rural areas, approved by the Cabinet in March … Continue reading

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Agriculture ministry releases strategy for sustainable food systems in English and French

TOKYO, July 6 – The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has released its strategy for sustainable food systems in English and French on its website, with a view to taking part in international rule-making efforts. The strategy, named MeaDRI, standing for measures for achievement of decarbonization and resilience with innovation, lists ways to reduce the environmental impact from agriculture by setting numerical targets to cut carbon emissions and use of chemical pesticides. According to the ministry’s Export and International Affairs Bureau, the English and French versions of the strategy focus especially on explaining specific challenges faced by Asia. The ministry sets a number of goals to be met by … Continue reading

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Takamatsu-based bonsai grower creates “two-minute picture book” on Bonsai in English on YouTube

KAGAWA, Jun. 3 – “Bonsai is not just a grandpa’s hobby but something good for the entire family to enjoy.” To deliver such a message, Hanazawa Myoshun En, a bonsai and wild grass and tree grower based in Takamatsu City, Kagawa Prefecture, created an animation film named “Family Bonsai” and posted it on YouTube. To make it free from fixed ideas, the characters in the story are a family of unidentified nationality. To make it open to non-Japanese visitors, all the conversations are written in English and have Japanese subtitles. It’s a story of a little girl naming and taking care of her own bonsai with her family. The simple … Continue reading

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Sayama-based tea grower and clothing maker make mask treat with bit of green tea scent

SAITAMA, May 30 - A mask sold by a Japanese tea grower and retailer in Sayama City, Saitama Prefecture, is drawing attention. It has an inner pocket to hold a teabag so that its wearer can enjoy a bit of incense of Japanese tea. The Saitama-based tea shop, Miyanoen, sells the product called “Ocha-Kaoru-Machi Sayama no Mask with Tea.” In English, it means “Mask with Tea from leading green tea producer Sayama City.” The product was developed by Miyanoen and a local clothing manufacturer, MM1. The city of Sayama has a plan to offer them to approximately 400 Olympic volunteers to promote the city. The polyester mask has an inner pocket … Continue reading

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A six-grader develops eco-friendly trap to catch channeled apple snails

GIFU, June 9 – A six-grade boy of Seki, Gifu Prefecture, has developed a trap to catch channeled apple snails using a plastic flower pot and a plastic bottle. Chihiro Kuriyama won the Seki mayor’s prize with the invention, and the city plans to use the trap to get rid of the agricultural pest. Kuriyama came up with the idea of developing a trap after a farmer told him that rice farmers are troubled by channeled apple snails causing damage to rice plants but they want to avoid using strong agricultural chemicals as much as possible. He was shocked to see the big size of the snails and their pink … Continue reading

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