The entire town working together
“Good morning.” People come one after another with vegetables in their hands, and greet each other cheerfully. ”Aya Tezukuri Honmono Center” located in Aya-cho, Miyazaki Prefecture is a direct sales center for organic agricultural crops. Based on the town’s own safety standards, it sells produce ranked gold, silver and copper. The vegetables are brought in by the local farmers themselves, and vegetables are arranged on the shelf of their choice. It is also up to them to decide the price. Some people exchange homemade dishes there, and for those who bring the vegetables, it also serves as a place of gathering to chat and see each other.
Why don’t or aren’t able to go organic
“In Aya-cho, they have established an institution that provides local farmers with advice for making good soil. They have also established an independent standard for healthy soil making and cultivation of farmland, and a crop cultivation management standard. In organic farming, soil conditions influence the taste, shape, color, and the appearance of crops. Soil making is very important, so they also place great effort into compost production, in order to preserve the ecology of the microorganisms in the soil. This also allows them to draw out the original power of the soil to create an environment suitable for the growth of the crops. An “”Aya method”” self-sufficient fertilizer supply facility was built, and compost circulation of waste was also implemented, helping to reduce waste while creating great soil. These initiatives have helped reduce CO2, water pollution, organic waste and the use of chemical pesticides, contributing to the reduction of environmental stress.
With the recent interest in how food tastes as well as food safety, what prevents the farmers from choosing to go organic? We discussed the issue with farmers who operated organic farms. When we asked if it was possible for all farmers to operate the ideal style of agriculture and still make a living, we were told it was not. This was true even in an environment like Aya-ho. Even farmers who have been practicing organic farming for 10 years still find it difficult to make a stable income, requiring some to take on second jobs.
Always looking ahead
When running an organic farm, one is faced with the problem of weeds and insects. Some farmers pluck them manually, some incorporate the duck farming method, but either way it requires hard work and a lot of labor, so it is difficult to expand the farmland, and as a result, the yield is limited. There is also the problem of lack of successors in Aya-cho, just like all other farming areas.
- Aya Tezukuri Honmono Center
- 515 Minamimata, Aya-cho, Higashi-Morokata-gun, Miyazaki Prefecture
- URL http://www.miya-shoko.or.jp/aya/honmono.html