Farm Ministry launches project to gain more Japanese food followers by offering great local experience that also features food

TOKYO, Jul. 24 – Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan (MAFF) has launched a new project to boost the number of Japanese food lovers worldwide and expand Japan’s export of agricultural and food products. It aims at providing international travelers with unique experiences that focus on the coupling between Japanese food and culture or health-conscious local attractions while creating an environment for them to continue to enjoy Japanese food back home. MAFF will gather successful cases and develop models for nationwide introduction. The initiative is called “Shoku Kakeru Project.” Literary, it means crossing (kake-awaseru) food (shoku) and other sectors and encouraging Japanese food fans crisscross (kake-meguru) the country. According … Continue reading

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[Joy of Noh no Ikebana] Fumiko Sasaki (66) from Shiwa Town, Iwate Prefecture: Feel fresh cool air from soba-noodle-making-themed arrangement

“I began Noh no Ikebana four years ago. A member of a local Noh no Ikebana group invited to me to join them at an event at an agricultural research center in Kitakami City, Iwate Prefecture. With Noh no Ikebana, we are free to arrange everything we see in our daily lives such as vegetables and flowers, and I think it’s lovely. The location is also part of the arrangement, and I have an unlimited number of ways to express myself. Usually, I put small, simple, and casual arrangements at my entrance. I’d like to continue doing it and make more arrangements in a wider variety. I also want to … Continue reading

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[Joy of Noh no Ikebana] Sakiko Hoshino (69) from Kyoto City, Kyoto Prefecture: Look at the bright color of the season!

I began Noh no Ikebana in 2016. It’s a beginner-friendly hobby as it has no rigid rule. I decided to make the new challenge when I saw my grandmother-in-law’s favorite plum tree bore fruit. It reminded me of her face and how gentle she was to me. While making the arrangement, I discovered a new side of myself, and since then, this is my favorite hobby. I make my arrangement often in mid-summer when we have not many flowers around. I put my arrangements at my entrance, and my visitors love them very much and say they are lovely. This time, I combined chrysanthemum, a favorite flower of my grandmother-in-law, … Continue reading

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Takii develops world’s first prototype pumpkin resistant to powdery mildew

SHIGA, Jul. 18 – The world’s first pumpkin breed that is resistant to powdery mildew was unveiled yesterday to vegetable producers and agricultural management instructors from an agricultural cooperative (JA) in Shiga Prefecture. The new robust variety is expected to give increased yield and ensure a lower burden for controlling the disease. The new variety is named TNK-157 and developed by a Japanese seed maker of vegetables and flowers, Takii Co. The company has already acquired the license and began trial production at limited locations. Powdery mildew is a disease that causes white powdery spots on the leaves. Severely affected plants can die. With pumpkins, it may affect the leaves … Continue reading

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Agriculture management entities dips below 1.2 million, large-scale farmers’ acreage also decreasing

TOKYO, July. 29 – The number of agriculture management entities in Japan has gone below 1.2 million, the lowest in the past ten years, according to the data released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan. The number of family management entities, which account for more than 90%, dipped 2.7% to 1,152,800. These figures underline a weakening production base in Japan due to a severe labor shortage and an aging population. The acreage of large-scale agriculture management entities has also started to decline. The decrease in the number of the entities who had been covering the loss of small-scale family-run entities is making it difficult for Japan to … Continue reading

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