Journal of Geography (Chigaku Zasshi)
Online ISSN : 1884-0884
Print ISSN : 0022-135X
ISSN-L : 0022-135X
Original Articles
Sustainable Systems of a Chrysanthemum Production Area in Tahara City, Aichi Prefecture: Focusing on the Farmer's Network
Takuya HAYASHI
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2019 Volume 128 Issue 2 Pages 235-253

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Abstract

 A sustainable system for chrysanthemum production is examined, focusing on a farmer's network on the Atsumi Peninsula. The Atsumi Peninsula, where Tahara City is located, is a leading agricultural area in Japan where the foundations for agricultural production were developed with the completion of the Toyogawa irrigation canal in 1968. Tahara City generates the largest agricultural income in Japan by municipality unit. Flowers and vegetables are at the center of agriculture production and the livestock industry is also healthy. The average age of agricultural workers is 59.8 years, and the average age of successors living together is 34.8 years, which is particularly young in Japan. Overall, 62.5% of commercial farm households have an agricultural income of more than 10 million yen; furthermore, 6.3% have an agricultural income of more than 50 million yen. Many farmers growing chrysanthemums in Tahara City belong to three teams reorganized by agricultural cooperatives in 2010: (1) Team STAR, (2) Team MAX, and (3) Team SKY. These teams are functional organizations planned according to the management situation of farmers, such as farmer's age, growing area, family labor, and future outlook. The three teams collaborate in a complementary way on market shipments to sell stable year-round quantities of high-quality chrysanthemums. This has raised the value of the chrysanthemum production area. It is evaluated that farmers enjoy benefits and incentives from belonging to agricultural cooperatives and teams, which also strengthens the cohesion of farmers. Moreover, as agricultural cooperatives have improved their shipping facilities and become more mechanized, farmers of Team MAX can ship chrysanthemums without packaging them at home. Reducing time and labor for shipping supports a further expansion of management scale. In addition, Tahara City has a high rate of full-time farmers, who work on technological innovations and management improvements on a daily basis. For this reason, there is an atmosphere that promotes teaching and learning new cultivation techniques and sharing information with neighborhood farmers and members of shipping organizations. Besides, farmers try to acquire advanced technologies and improve quality by holding informal study sessions on specific technologies. The efforts and cooperation of farmers create numerous benefits, raise the level of chrysanthemum production, and support the development of regional agriculture.

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