At the Oasis 21 Organic Farmers Asaichimura morning market in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture, Takako Yoshino weaves past stalls brimming with fruit and vegetables, greeting farmers and customers. She answers a question from a market volunteer and then heads to a small table to shake hands with a young man who wants to talk about how to become a farmer.

For the founder and manager of the 15-year-old weekly market that serves as a hub for a growing network of organic farmers, customers and apprentice farmers, this is a typical day. Supporting the growers and producers here, Yoshino believes, makes a real difference.

"The average age of a Japanese farmer in 2018 was 66.6 years old," Yoshino says, "which means most farmers are elderly. About 40,000 people become farmers each year, but only 10,000 of them are under 40. The rest are over 50 and returning to their parents' farms after retirement. If this continues, it is clear to me that the number of Japanese farmers will decline dramatically in 10 years."