Women farmers play an important role in sustainable development of agriculture. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) has established the Committee to Consider Policy Measures for Empowering Women Farmers under the Management Bureau in July 2020, with a view to reflect opinions of women farmers, experts and supporters of women farmers in the Fifth Basic Plan for Gender Equality to be decided by the Cabinet in December 2020. The report which was published in December 2020 provided four major recommendations for further empowering women farmers, and also overviewed the progress and development of women farmers since 1992, the year when “The Mid- and Long-Term Vision for Women in Rural Areas” was established as the first action plan related to women by MAFF.
In this paper the author first considers what kind of risk COVID-19 is based on the literature on risk society theory of sociology. Next, the literature which examined infectious diseases from a historical perspective is taken up. In addition, how the risk assessment of COVID-19 is carried out at present, and how the assessment result and infection prevention measures are related are searched based on the material obtained by the internet search. It should be understood that the risk of COVID-19 is multifaceted, and that various factors are involved in its occurrence and epidemic. Human beings have experienced pandemics such as plague and Spanish flu, so we may learn from history. In the risk assessment, it is also necessary to evaluate comparative equity with other risks such as job loss due to state of emergency declaration and self-restraint request, poverty, health damage, and risk in a comprehensive sense. In conclusion, it is necessary for each person to perform a risk assessment, judge, and act, not only relying on experts. The ability to identify important information should be cultivated without being misled by uncertain information such as SNS.
Zoonic diseases including COVID-19 reflect the change of interaction between wild animals and human beings. The current paper reviewed the change and the present situation of interaction between wild animal and human beings. Sub-Saharan countries are the main wild meat consumption area since wild meat is easily available because local people understand the behavior of animals, and they are deeply connected to local tradition. In Japan, wild animals had been caught and eaten. From the origin of agriculture, there were fights against the animals that damaged the harvest, and people hunted and ate them. The combination of Buddhism and Shinto prohibited animal eating accompanying discrimination. By the underutilization of local resources, the damage by wild animals is severe in Japan, but wild meat consumption does not increase as could be expected. Amidst the pandemic of COVID-19, the regulation on wild meat trading is exercised, but its subsistence use needs should be considered. The pandemics of zoonic disease are the result of deforestation which is then exploited into farmlands and timber lands for export. We should consider how we have harmed nature, and how to attain balance so as viruses and pathogen do not to jump from wild animals to humans.
In this paper, I introduce human communication in rural areas using online systems. The tourism business, including urban-rural communication, has been fatally affected since 2020, when COVID-19 became a severe pandemic. Under such circumstances, a guesthouse in Wakayama Prefecture has started “Online Lodging”. Similar initiatives have been launched in various parts of Japan. In spite of the tremendous economic damage, people are trying to find a small chance by maintaining human communication. I consider future possibilities from their online efforts.
In this paper we discussed farm internship in a curriculum for university students. Farm internship in Yao farm gives effects such as securing labor force in the present and future, and adding value through student involvement on the farm. For students there are also effects such as understanding of the actual conditions and issues of agricultural management, opportunities for communication and farther experiences. The COVID-19 crisis deprived such opportunities from both students and farm. We have provided alternative materials over the network and secured learning opportunities for students. However, substituting off-campus activities is a difficult task, and it is necessary to develop further methods.
This study, observed changes in awareness of agricultural work and employment of students who participated in the agricultural internship, and considered the screening effect of the agricultural internship. The information obtained at the agricultural internship destination was “the characteristics of duties in agricultural work,” “the physical work environment,” “the human work environment,” “the management characteristics,” “the vision” and “the treatment.” This information influenced students’ employment awareness towards agricultural internship farmers. Based on the place of employment that students desired after their internship experience, they were classified into three groups: I. agricultural selection, II. agriculture and other professions selections, and III. other professions selections. In Group I, there are students who chose agriculture because they knew it was worthwhile and enjoyable. On the other hand, in Group III, there were some who did not choose agriculture due to the negative information of “the characteristics of duties in agricultural work” and “the physical work environment.” The study found that agricultural internship may have a screening effect on the agricultural internship farmers and agriculture.