This study investigates the Misumi production area in the Kumamoto prefecture, an emerging citrus production area led by the Misumi Agricultural Cooperative Society (hereinafter referred to as the Misumi region).
The primary objective of this study is to elucidate the development of the Misumi region in 1970–1990, focusing on the rise, fall, and resurgence of this region. In contrast to the existing studies that focus on traditional production areas, the secondary objective of the present study is to explain the development of the citrus industry centering on this emerging region.
The historical analysis revealed the following: during the first period (up to 1975), the Misumi region was established in the citrus market as a new noteworthy producer and its success was symbolized by the production of mandarin oranges containing 13°C sugar;the Misumi region was highlighted as a new brand name producer for this product. However, the Misumi region stagnated in the second period (1976–1985) because of unstable shipments and delays in the introduction of better varieties. These problems weakened the competitiveness of the Misumi region in the market. In the third period (after 1986), the Misumi region was restructured to regain its competitiveness in the market. The focal point was the double renewal of production, namely, the introduction of superior varieties and new production techniques. These efforts raised the competitiveness of the Misumi region again as a production area.