Japan Alliance is enhancing a partnership between Japan and African Countries to support the growth of agricultural production in developing countries.
By Frank McAvor
The visit to Japan took the African Visitors to various agricultural installations and farms. The important ones are:
- Cocco Farm (A six industry farm )
Coccos Farms was most instructive because it demonstrates the food value chain concept in practice i.e. from farm to the dinning table (from field to fork). Good addition to the programme pregnant with many lessons for farmers in Africa
- Hyakusho-Ikki (A young local famers group in GIAHS site)
A example of how young local farmers have decided to come back to the land where generations of their ancestors have eked out a living. These youth taking their own destinies into their own hands have many lessons for the youth of Africa. Very inspiring to see these young ones trying to work under very hard conditions to create a living and to make these farmlands better than they have come to meet them..
- Minshuku Yamanosato (Agro tourism)
Obviously the most vivid portrayal of Japanese culture and traditions which have been passed down through the ages. It was a lesson in how to seamlessly fuse agriculture into tourism to the advantage of local people who have to endure years of volcanic activities. This site clearly tells the Japanese story of turning adversity into business opportunities.
- Aso Volcano Museum
A great instruction in volcanic activity and how the Japanese people have survived years of adversity to become a very resourceful and successful society. The lesson here is that Africa can also turn its adversities into success.
- JA Yokohama Direct-sales market
A very organised agricultural cooperative working in the interest of the farms who directly involve in the making of all decisions of thecooperative. A lesson in determination of local farmers taking advantage of the opportunities offered by living close to a big city and cashing on the ready market offered by the city.
- Shimosato Farm (a famous organic farm)
A good organic farm. Concepts and practices are very similar to what our farmers are used to over the years. The difference however is the use of scientific reasoning and technology to make the work in this farm less of a drudgery. Very efficiency conscious and innovative farm. Great lessons for African farmers
Conclusion : Lesson and learn from the programme
Lesson learnt can be summarised into three major points:
1.How to turn adversity into success;to turn a very hostile environment to one of opportunities and promise using the only available resource- human resource
2.The Japanese are always thinking about how to improve upon what they have met and how to improve upon the efficiency of processes.
- The Japanese is always looking for opportunities to make a difference in the lives of the people. They are always trying to better upon whatever they see so that they can make a difference that will leave a name for him, his family and generations to come. This is a lesson Africans must learn.