A life of lettuce has its benefits

| Jun 28, 2014

A life of lettuce has its benefits

by Michael Hoffman

Lettuce. Let us raise a glass to lettuce. There’s a village in Nagano Prefecture called Kawakami — nothing, nowhere little place, deep in the mountains, far from the main road, population 3,960. Why does Shukan Gendai magazine devote three full pages to profiling it? ...

Jun 16, 2014

LDP primes farm sector for ventures

by Aya Takada

The Liberal Democratic Party wants to increase corporate participation in agriculture to boost the competitiveness of Japanese farms as pressure increases to cut import tariffs. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s party is considering allowing nonfood firms to take almost 50 percent stakes in farming entities, ...

May 15, 2014

'Third water' makes aquaculture possible in Cambodian mountains

A Japanese technique for creating artificial river and seawater is expected to enable Cambodian farmers to open three prawn farms this summer — in the mountains. The artificial water is a blend of fresh water and a carefully measured mix of minerals, including salts ...

Granpa leads high-tech revolution in farming

Apr 28, 2014

Granpa leads high-tech revolution in farming

by Asako Takaguchi

A 70-year-old entrepreneur is promoting the indoor, computer-assisted cultivation of vegetables to establish a business model that can draw young people back to agriculture. Takaaki Abe founded Granpa Co. in Yokohama in 2004 with the aim of using technology to develop a profitable indoor ...

Apr 21, 2014

Panasonic to cultivate greenhouse farming biz

Panasonic Corp. said Monday the group will enter into the farming business with a newly developed low-cost vinyl greenhouse production system. The leading home electronics maker’s subsidiary will launch the system utilizing natural energy sources during the current business year through next March, targeting ...

'Hometown' firm helps new city folk aid farm kin

Jan 6, 2014

'Hometown' firm helps new city folk aid farm kin

by Asako Takaguchi

Mitsushi Kodama established Jimoto Co. in Tokyo in April 2012 to sell rice, vegetables and other farm products together with people who, like himself, have moved to the capital but still want to support their families. Kodama left Ueda, Nagano Prefecture, to study at ...

NICCO driven to continue Afghan aid

| Dec 5, 2013

NICCO driven to continue Afghan aid

by Atsushi Kodera

Members of the Kyoto-based nonprofit organization Nippon International Cooperation for Community Development (NICCO) defied danger and entered Afghanistan as soon as the brutal Taliban government had fallen. They have since continued their difficult humanitarian support activities for more than 10 years. This September, their ...