Sachiko Ohashi and Sho Nakamori

The Future of Farming Concerns Us All

Japan Agricultural Exchange Council (JAEC) is Japan’s authorized public interest incorporated association, which was formerly a subsidiary organization of Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF). The association has sent more than 14 thousands trainees to western countries for 1-1.5 year traineeship since 1952. Bayer has been in contact with the association since the application period for the Youth Ag Summit (YAS) in Australia in 2015, and continued supporting JAEC since.

This year, as part of the program, 11 JAEC trainees studying in the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark were able to join the Future of Farming Dialogue organized by Bayer in Monheim, Germany on September 18-20. The three days event with media, influencers and industry guests, was an opportunity to learn more about agriculture and the possibilities that science and technology are opening to farmers.

I am Sachiko Ohashi. My parents are farmers and produce green tea at our family business farm. My mother also grows seasonal vegetables. Since I was a little child, agriculture has always been close to my heart. One of my most vivid memories is the taste of fresh tomatoes from my mother’s garden. This is the reason I’ve been drawn to agriculture and my interest in farming. I wish everyone had the opportunity to be exposed to farming and find a fulfilling career as I did.

During the Future of Farming event I had a chance to visit Laacher Hof, a Bayer Forward Farm. The experience reinforced my belief that agriculture is something that everyone should understand since it fulfills our most basic need – nourishment. I am interested in ensuring a sustainable supply of vegetables through all seasons to fulfill the demand. In order to achieve it, horticulture technology has a key role. Dutch horticulture technology is highly advanced, and has hugely influenced most of the models in Japan. That is why I joined JAEC traineeship and I’m currently working at a paprika greenhouse in Zuid-Holland state of the Netherlands. The program focuses not only on cultivation techniques, but also management, information technology, as well as other topics specific to agriculture practices in The Netherlands.

In Japan, agriculture is facing serious issues, particularly the aging of farmers and lack of successors. Additionally, the industry and farmers are perceived in a very poor light – dirty, dangerous and difficult to make profit. Not to mention the fact that entering agriculture is risky because of the capital investment needed. To overcome these problems, in my view, it is essential that everyone feels agriculture as something close that touches their daily life. When I eat something tasty, I always feel like sharing it with my close friends. This is why I would like to grow fresh vegetables and share the happiness of tasting those delicacies with many people. My dream is to bring joy to people through my work in agriculture.

Sachiko Ohashi, JAEC Trainee
Sachiko Ohashi, JAEC Trainee
Sachiko Ohashi,
JAEC Trainee

I am Sho Nakamori. I’ve been interested in world food problems since I visited some developing countries. I saw many hungry people out there. In fact, the population of the world is increasing dramatically and the estimated population will be around 10 billion by 2050. If we don’t take any action, more and more people will suffer from hunger and we might see more people struggling for food around the world. To avoid such dire future, we need efficient and sustainable agriculture to feed the world. Agriculture affords people access to nutritious food.

I’m currently working at the tomato growing company called D.T. van Noord Tomaten located at Zeeland province in the Netherlands as a trainee. The company has in total around 8.5 ha of glasshouses. We are applying hydroponics way to grow tomatoes. We produce approximately 50 kg/m² of cocktail tomatoes every year. Among the varieties we grow are Brioso from the company Rijk Zwaan. The latest greenhouse the company built has an increased energy efficiency of 30% compared to standard greenhouses.

Sho Nakamori, JAEC Trainee
Sho Nakamori, JAEC Trainee
Sho Nakamori,
JAEC Trainee

I enjoy being engaged in agriculture, and help achieve higher efficiency in production and reducing the impact on the environment now and for the future.

“I believe agriculture can be the solution to world food security and supply food sustainably,” says Sho. While Sachiko comments “furthermore eating nutritious foods that we can get through agriculture can contribute to our happiness.” There are many reasons to be involved in agriculture, and different ways of getting involved; what is undeniable is that we all should contribute to ensure every human being has access to nutritious food. This can only be a reality if we all partake in shaping the Future of Farming.

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