This paper aims to examine the context in which social capital works effectively in sustaining agriculture in the loquat production areas of Nagasaki City. The limitation of social capital is also discussed, considering the transformation of production areas. The case study area is the oldest production area of loquats.
In Nagasaki Prefecture, loquat production was increased in consequence of the production adjustment of mandarin oranges in the 1970s. In the 1980s, loquat production in greenhouses was started to expand the harvest season. After the decrease of production in greenhouses, loquat production has been sustained due to adoption of new varieties and technical innovations. The continuation of loquat production is based on the shipping association established in each local settlement and on the close coordination with the center for agricultural development and extension. The shipping association contributes not only to intensive distribution but also to the accumulation of bonding social capital. Furthermore, confidential relationships between some diligent farmers and administrative officers has resulted in improved agriculture, which could be regarded as a kind of bridging social capital.
Recently, however, the significance of social capital has decreased due to the decrease in the number of farmers. In contrast to the situation in which greenhouse production was introduced, the participation of young farmers in a revitalization project has been passive. Along with the aging of farmers, a mismatch between reality in the community and external support has partially arisen.