This paper aims to clarify the consumers’ preferences in locally-grown farm products, such as rice, vegetables, and fruits. From the viewpoint of ensuring sustainable consumption and production patterns compatible with SDGs, local food production and consumption will be required more than ever before. The results of this study show that consumers’ preferences depend on the product in question. For example, the most important characteristic is “taste” for rice, and “price” for vegetables and fruits. It is also revealed that consumer is not aware of supporting local environmental benefits through purchasing locally-grown food. The implication here is there is a potential for promoting locally-grown foods. As a reflection of consumers lifestyle recently, it is statistically shown that high health consciousness urges consumers to buy vegetables, rather than rice and fruits.
SDGs seek a plan of action to transform everyone into a sustainable society. One easy action is to strengthen consumers’ purchase of locally-grown food products. The findings of this study also offers suggestions for formulating effective strategies for promoting locally-grown food products.
In this study, a nationwide survey of standard yield values stipulating a subsidy system for quantity payments for feed rice and rice flour, has been conducted. There are three main findings. First, 61% of the regional agricultural revitalization councils have standardized the standard yields in their respective regions, with an average value of 513.3 kg/10 a. Second, in some regions standard yield values have been set to multiple types, depending on local conditions. Third, a case study has revealed a regional approach to setting multiple standard yields, replacing the previous efforts of rice production adjustment.
To determine how local people in the mountainous areas of Japan maintain and utilize their agricultural and natural resources, we monitored all the agricultural fields in Ozu, Ibigawa Town, Gifu Prefecture, for a year. Furthermore, we interviewed residents and conducted participant observation, to identify the plants that were consumed, including crops and wild vegetables. Agriculture was conducted in the village mainly for self-consumption, and was sustained with the cooperation of elderly people. Home gardens played an important role in growing indigenous vegetables such as Akauri, Akimame and Yatsugashira. While the seeds and seedlings of most of the crops were sourced from local markets, those of these two vegetables had been inherited by the local people. Products from home gardens also contributed to sustaining the local community through frequent barter exchanges. The utilization of 30 species of wild plants was recorded in this village, higher than in the other mountain villages of Japan.
In this study, we focused on the task of weeding that had been an issue in organic rice cultivation, and investigated the economic effects of introducing a high-efficiency weeder. We analyzed working hours and production costs, and estimated the possibility of expanding the organic rice acreage. The results were as follows: (1) The weeding time in organic rice cultivation decreased significantly; (2) although the production cost of organic rice cultivation was higher than that of conventional rice cultivation, it was more advantageous, considering the price of organic rice; and (3) estimation by linear programming revealed that using a high-efficiency weeder could increase the area under organic rice cultivation.
In some areas, the respective municipalities and nonprofit organizations provide paid services using private cars to supplement the local people’s means of transportation. However, in some other areas, such services are not permitted under the legal system. In this study, a questionnaire survey was conducted among elderly people aged 75 years and above, to ascertain the status of outings such as shopping and visiting the hospital, the status of holding a license, and the intention to use door-to-door transportation services. The results indicated that 1) the use of bus services was significantly lower than that of private cars; 2) non-licensed persons were more likely to request a family member living with them to provide transportation; and 3) the availability of a family member from whom door-to-door transportation could be requested influenced the intention to use the service, more than the status of holding a license.
The continuity and efficiency of work management of the ridgeways between rice fields have become major issues in Japan. Labor for managing the ridgeways is in short supply, making it necessary to simplify processes, and improve efficiency. Additionally, ridgeways are essential for preserving rural areas and maintaining the landscape; the labor shortage creates problems of maintenance of the area. This study investigated the process of establishing organizations to undertake the management of ridgeways in villages. Consequently, the following three key aspects were identified: 1) Smooth communication between stakeholders, 2) setting of acceptable costs, and 3) improvement of the operation through gradual structuring. Additionally, we found that it was possible to acquire new stakeholders such as non-farmers in the village, thereby making it possible to employ people for maintaining the ridgeways by creating an organization.