Civil groups call for vaster political support for small farmers

TOKYO, Feb. 19 – The committee for the UN Declaration for the Rights of Peasants and the Decade of Family Farming 2019-2028 in Japan held a meeting at the members’ office building for the house of councilors in Nagata-cho, Tokyo, on February 18.  The network of academic leaders and civil groups gathered to explain the reality surrounding small farmers and their problems and make sure that they are reflected in future governmental policy, as the UN Decade of Family Farming is starting this year. The meeting was attended by approximately 100 farmers and researchers, who gathered in Tokyo to discuss the matters with government officials.

Shushi Okazaki addressed “the proposals and actions taken by farmers and farmers’ groups” in his speech representing the Japan Family Farmers Movement “Nouminren” and explained the background and purposes of the Declaration for the Rights of Peasant. “We want to make changes in agricultural policy of this country under the banner, the declaration. Masaharu Manda, emeritus professor at Kagoshima University and a co-leader of the Small Farmers Institute, said that there are two aspects in farming, “the agriculture as an industry” and “the agriculture for living,” and we should look at these two aspects and support not only the industrial side but also the sustainability of farmers.

During the discussions, Minister’s Secretariat, International Affairs, Farm Ministry, said, “The agriculture in Japan is mostly supported by family-run farmers. It’s important to protect their rights.”

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