MIYAZAKI, Japan: Rural Japan is often described as inconvenient with an aging population and infrastructure, but in recent years, a younger generation has contributed their creativity and energy to bring about positive change.
Miyazaki prefecture, Kyushu, is one area that has attracted young people interested in organic agriculture.
At present, these farms need to be subsidized – families will buy cheaper imports to survive but interest in sustainable agriculture is growing worldwide and with the addition of digital transformation (DX) and concerns over food security, younger Japanese have given up salaried jobs to work on the land because they see value in growing safe and fresh food.
The young workers interviewed on a visit to Aya farm were passionate about the food they produced without using chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Some had started as volunteers and others had studied the industry before moving there to work.
The farm offers freshly made juices to guests and hosts families, school children and visitors from overseas to experience their agricultural methods. They send boxes of freshly picked food all over Japan so the produce is popular as a seasonal gift.
Miyazaki is also an area of great natural beauty with beautiful forests, water famous for its purity, a climate that is moderate enough for skiing even in winter and since 2006, the number of people moving there has increased every year.
This has contributed to a revitalization of tourist spots that had fallen in popularity, again led by an innovative younger generation.
On April 22-23, 2023, the G7 Agriculture Ministers’ Meeting will be held in Miyazaki Prefecture to discuss global food security and building sustainable agricultural systems.