JA-ZENCHU and JICA to jointly help developing nations through agricultural aid, international support and know-how sharing

TOKYO, April 23.  ― JA Group and the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) are signing a new partnership agreement on the initiatives to provide agricultural support to developing countries in Asia. The Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives (JA-ZENCHU) is going to act as a liaison office for agricultural cooperatives (JAs) all over Japan, while JICA is going to be a liaison office for developing countries. The two will then dispatch JA workers and young farmers to the countries needing agricultural aid. They plan to support the farmers with the creation of local agricultural cooperatives using JA’s expertise. This way, they can help small family-run farmers make more profit and their villages … Continue reading

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Global ICA vice-president visits coop welfare facility in Tokyo

TOKYO, March. 17 ― Jean-Louis Bancel, vice-president of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), the apex global cooperatives’ body, has visited a cooperative welfare facility in Tokyo. On March 16, Bancel visited a facility, “Workers Net Rings,” a cooperative of workers with disabilities that provide cleaning services in the local community. Some of workers are former drug addicts, homeless people, or diagnosed with schizophrenia, and they have found themselves very difficult to get a decent job in the Japanese straitjacket society, explained Shiro Kinoshita, head of Workers Net Rings. “This cooperative facility manifests that the business is about collaboration and helping one another,” Bancel said. Bancel was visiting Tokyo as one … Continue reading

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Japan to cut wheat import prices on low freight costs and TPP

TOKYO, March. 9 ― Japan will slash its sales prices for imported wheat by 1.7 percent from April, due to a drop in freight costs and a cut in the country’s mark-up prices following the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) agreement. The agriculture ministry announced on March 8 that it will set the weighted average selling prices for five varieties at 54,630 yen a metric ton. Japan has cut its mark-up prices on imported wheat, a move to lower the cost of imported wheat for Japanese millers and help them to compete with wheat imports. Japan is one of the world’s largest wheat importing country, with 90 percent of 6 million metric … Continue reading

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JA Fukushima to build future with SDGs to dispel nuke anxiety

FUKUSHIMA, March 14 ― A farmers’ group in Fukushima prefecture has emphasized the need for implementation of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and its relevance in the context of Fukushima, which has been hit hard by the 2011 earthquake and nuclear disaster. JA Fukushima Mirai (future) has included the need for the successful implementation of SDGs in its three-year action plan that starts from 2019. It aims to dispel rumors about its safety in the wake of the meltdown at the Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s No.1 power station in the prefecture in 2011. Fukushima has set a target of more than 51 percent of local produce to be certified … Continue reading

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[Joy of Noh no Ikebana] Fumiyo Kubo (75) from Hachioji, Tokyo

Height gap can give arrangement depth. “I began Noh no Ikebana more than 20 years ago. The best part of Noh no Ikebana for vegetable farmers is how we can create arrangements with vegetables we grow and flowers in the fields. We can’t sell veggies in irregular shapes and sizes, but they look just brilliant in the arrangements. My friends and I go to many places to host exhibitions and events for beginners, which gave me valuable experiences. I think it’s an ageless hobby, and I want to continue enjoying it for as long as possible. I made this arrangement “Spring is here” with Setsuko Saito (69), a friend from … Continue reading

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