In order to develop rural areas sustainably, the senary sector companies related to food and agriculture play important roles. Therefore, the number of such companies have increased recently in Japan. However, one of the challenges for senary sector companies in mountainous areas is to develop value-added products and market as well as to establish the enterprise. This study aims to reveal the process of products and market development utilizing local network of food industries, focusing on the “Kozagawa Yuzu Hirai no Sato” enterprise in Wakayama prefecture, in terms of relationship marketing and value co-creation. An interview survey of the company and people of the local network was conducted to achieve the purpose. As a result, the company develops its own product using other companies’ products as ingredients to enhance the product value and also develops market through the industries’ network thus reducing transaction cost. This shows that networking with members sharing the same values and goals is significant for product and market development of a small senary sector company in mountainous areas.
In Japanese livestock farming, there has been an increasing focus on the need to improve feed self-sufficiency rate, especially the self-sufficiency rate for concentrate feed. This study targets ear corn production, which is currently emphasized as domestic concentrate feed. Consequently, it examines the possibility of introducing ear corn production through integrated farming systems of arable and livestock in the regional agriculture of Abira town, Hokkaido. This possibility is studied from the viewpoint of farmland management in upland farms, as the number of farmers decreases in the region. The results show a further decrease in the number of farmers in the future, which would enhance the need for farmland maintenance and management. Additionally, if farmers introduce ear corn production, it will be possible to expand the labor-saving operational scale through labor extensive production. Consequently, labor saving will facilitate farmland management in the area. The introduction of ear corn production in the region by an integrated farming system of arable and livestock is expected to be an effective measure to promote both management stability, through income replacement of wheat as main crop, and farmland management, for not only dairy farms but also upland ones, considering the decline in the number of farmers.
The Japanese government introduced the Farmland, Water and Environmental Conservation Improvement Scheme (CIS) in 2007, with the aim of promoting collective stewardship of common pool resources (CPRs) and enhancing agricultural multi-functionality. In order for rural communities to participate in this scheme, they have to meet requirements and sign a contract with the government outlining the scope of collective action for maintaining CPRs. In this paper, we measure the treatment effect of the CIS using propensity score matching methods. Some framed field experiments in the previous literature show that extrinsic motivations such as payments or punishments for participants may not enhance collective stewardship because external intervention crowds out or undermines participants’ intrinsic motivation, based on social norms and reciprocity, to cooperate. Our empirical study conducted in Shiga Prefecture, however, reveals that there is a causal effect of CIS participation for increasing collective action, suggesting that the CIS is instrumental in conserving farmland, agricultural canal, pond, and irrigation facilities. Another important finding is that pre-existing social capital fostered by community members is positively correlated with their participation in the CIS.
This study examined the extension services for improving home living in post-war Tohoku district, focusing on the response of Miyagi Prefecture (MP) to policies set by Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF). The objective of the services was to improve the lives of people in farm households and to facilitate the democratization of farm villages. MAF requested local governments to establish agricultural improvement sections to administer these extension services. Additionally, it requested that voluntary female-led home living improvement groups lead the program. MP accepted the policies of MAF and established an agricultural improvement section. However, the prefecture adopted the measures of using model areas and model hamlets for the services. The reasons for the responses were the connection between MAF and the agricultural improvement section, existence of the Tohoku Civil Affairs Region, and social realities of rural areas.
In this study, we attempt to provide recommendations in terms of the methods of utilizing and conserving the local characteristic resources. We analyze the case of the traditional vegetable “Yuzaki Nebuka” that has been developed as a regional specialty product in the Nara Prefecture. This study aims to clarify the factors of the process of making the local products, which also exist in other areas, a specialty, and understand how the multiple actors in the developing process create relationships and work with each other. The results show that the number of actors increases, though the process and the necessary functions for development are assigned to the related actors effectively. We recommend the importance of appropriately establishing the area, the allocation model of profit, and utilization of resources in the area.
Based on a questionnaire survey conducted in Kagawa Prefecture, this study empirically explores the tendencies of employment management and human resource development in farm organizations. The study shows that introducing permanent workers in their farms, farm managers in Kagawa Prefecture tend to develop a system of command and supervision of workers. With increasing workers, they begin relegating an employee to the charge of production management or supervision of other workers. It is shown that farm managers reaching such managerial levels tend to expand their farm sizes rapidly, and often induce employees to enhance their ability of operational judgment and understand their farming goals or plans. It is also shown that these managers frequently use economic incentives such as salary or position upgrades. With the help of organizational economics theory, this study presents economic explanations on the abovementioned tendencies.
Agricultural businesses in Japan are restricted by “socialized”—that means out of a sense of obligation—trading based on rural relationships. Such trading involves farmers being limited in the choice of what to purchase and how to produce, in order to retain their producing and living areas. In contrast, such socialized trading possibly increases farmers’ incomes in the long-term. This study aims to define the types of purchasing processes currently used in socialized trading in the agricultural industry. Previous research has been analyzed and interviews of two types of young farmers in total of about twenty were conducted. It was found that young farmers are selected by the suppliers of productive materials severely. Thus, farmers’ purchasing processes were categorized into eight types, and the farmers tended to choose one of the type according to their growth phase for their business.