Agrarian pathways for the next generation of Japanese farmers

Steven R. McGreevy, Mai Kobayashi, Keiko Tanaka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

Japanese agriculture and rural communities are in decline and fewer young people are becoming farmers. Young heritage farmers and a new generation from non-farming families face multiple barriers to pursue farming as their profession or way of life. Using mixed methods, we examine cases of new farmers establishing themselves in Kyoto and Nagano, Japan. We uncover and analyse a set of representative pathways travelled by new farmers and the social and economic pitfalls they must navigate. The local community is found to play a critical role in the progression of farmers along pathways into agriculture.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)272-290
Number of pages19
JournalCanadian Journal of Development Studies
Volume40
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 3 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by the FEAST Project (Lifeworlds of Sustainable Food Consumption and Production: Agrifood Systems in Transition) (No. 14200116), Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Kyoto, Japan; and in part by a research grant from the Department of Community and Leadership Development, University of Kentucky (2015–2016).

Funding Information:
I was working for a company for 16 years. When I remarried with the eldest daughter of a farming household, I understood that one of the husbands needed to inherit the farm … so I thought I’d better prepare to become a farmer, and started to look for a training program. I found the 3-month intensive program offered by Kyoto Agricultural School. That was about 3 years ago [… .] After finishing the program, I realised that I was not at all ready to be a farmer … so I went to a Job Cafe for advice. They introduced me to this farm enterprise … and told me about the financial support program [by the Kyoto Department of Agriculture].

Funding Information:
This research was supported in part by the FEAST Project (Lifeworlds of Sustainable Food Consumption and Production: Agrifood Systems in Transition) (No. 14200116), Research Institute for Humanity and Nature (RIHN), Kyoto, Japan; and in part by a research grant from the Department of Community and Leadership Development, University of Kentucky (2015?2016).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, © 2018 Canadian Association for the Study of International Development (CASID).

Keywords

  • Japan
  • New farmers
  • agrarian pathways
  • farming modes
  • rural community

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Development

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