2018 Volume 127 Issue 3 Pages 343-356
The purpose of this study is to show how retired workers are supported in Toyota city, Aichi prefecture to engage in agriculture, and the significance of that support. Toyota city is renowned for its automobile industry. During the period of rapid economic growth, the automobile industry attracted many workers from inside and outside Toyota city. However, since around 2000, when many workers started to reach retirement age, the issue of how to help them find a place in the community outside their companies has been a challenge. Toyota city also faces the challenge of how to respond to a declining number of people engaged in agriculture. To address both of these problems, in collaboration with the Japan Agricultural Cooperative (JA), Toyota city established the Agricultural Lifestyle Support Center, where retired workers can learn agricultural skills. The Center helps retired workers transition smoothly from corporate life to agricultural life by providing guidance and information on available farmland, as well as leasing agricultural equipment. Toyota city and JA also help develop sales channels for produce grown by retired workers.In Toyota city, retired workers from other areas who have no farmland to cultivate are also regarded as prospective farmers in the same way as retired workers who were originally from the local area and who own farmland. Support is provided equally to both categories of retiree. It is reasonable to say, therefore, that these support measures are significant in that they help prevent farmland from being abandoned with the help of retired workers, who are also supported as prospective farmers. Consequently, creating a place where farming skills can be taught and support can be provided for marketing the resulting produce is important for both retired workers and the local community.