社説:農業コンクール 再生への芽を育てよう

(Mainichi Japan) July 16, 2011
Annual farmers' competition loaded with inspiration for crisis-stricken Japan agriculture
社説:農業コンクール 再生への芽を育てよう

The 60th national agricultural competition, held recently in Wakayama under the slogan, "Support Japanese agriculture," has given a glimmer of hope to Japanese farmers hit hard by the March 11 Great East Japan Earthquake, tsunami and ensuing nuclear crisis.
 「応援しよう! 日本の農業」をスローガンに和歌山市で開かれた全国農業コンクール(毎日新聞社、和歌山県主催)の第60回全国大会は、未曽有の大災厄に沈む日本農業に希望のともしびを示すものになった。

The competition, organized jointly by the Mainichi Newspapers Co. and the Wakayama Prefectural Government, began in 1952 when Japan was recovering from the devastation of World War II. The latest one was held as Japan is trying to restore disaster-hit areas and victims' livelihoods.
同コンクールが始まったのは、日本が敗戦の痛手から立ち上がりつつあった1952年。60回の節目はくしくも同じ「復興」が国民的課題となる中での開催だ。

The Great East Japan Earthquake inflicted a vicious blow on Japanese agriculture.
 東日本大震災が日本農業に残した傷は深い。

A total of 23,600 hectares of farmland in six prefectures -- Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Fukushima, Ibaraki and Chiba -- was badly damaged by the disaster.
津波などで被災した農地は青森、岩手、宮城、福島、茨城、千葉の6県で2万3600ヘクタールに上る。

Many farmers in disaster-hit areas have been forced to give up farming this year because their soil is full of salt brought by the tsunami and local agricultural waterworks have been destroyed.
土壌に残る塩分や用排水施設の損壊などで、今年の作付けを断念せざるを得ない農家も多い。

Numerous farmers near the Fukushima No. 1 Nuclear Power Plant have been banned from farming or shipping their products because their land has been contaminated with radioactive substances leaking from the crippled plant.
福島第1原発事故による放射能汚染で出荷や作付けを制限された生産者の苦悩はもちろんだが、

Furthermore, groundless rumors that agricultural products from areas hit by the nuclear crisis are contaminated with radioactive substances have spread far and wide, and some countries are restricting imports of agricultural products from Japan.
風評被害は他の地域にも広がり、日本産食品の輸入を規制する国・地域が相次いでいる。

The presentations at the competition by 21 farmers selected from all over Japan have encouraged farmers in the disaster-hit areas in various ways.
 こうした状況の中、今大会に全国から選ばれた21代表の発表は、さまざまな意味で被災地の農業者を勇気づける内容だったと言っていい。

Yasuo Kaeriyama and his wife Sachiko, farmers from Ono, Fukui Prefecture, who won the grand prix, are mainly growing rice and soybeans on their 70-hectare farm.
 グランプリの毎日農業大賞を受賞した福井県大野市の帰山安夫さん、幸子さん夫妻は、コメや大豆を中心に約70ヘクタールを耕作する大規模農家だ。

The couple expanded their production not by pursuing operational efficiency and squeezing more out of their land, but by taking over farmland abandoned by the original owners chased away by unfavorable conditions.
単なる経営効率を追い求めたのではなく、条件の不利な棚田なども含め、耕し手のいない地域内の農地を引き受けてきた結果の規模拡大である。

They grow blue soybeans, known for their sweetness and deep taste, process them into tofu which they then put on the market, thereby combining farming (primary industry), processing (secondary industry) and marketing (tertiary industry).
甘みとコクが特徴の「青大豆」で作った豆腐を自ら販売するなど、生産(1次)+加工(2次)+流通(3次)を統合する「6次産業化」や、

They have also actively promoted local production for local consumption, and support a group of local women processing locally grown agricultural products.
その土地の産品を地域内で消費する「地産地消」に取り組み、地元の女性グループの加工品づくりを支援するなど、

The couple has also contributed greatly to the regional community.
地域社会とのきずなも大切にしている。

Some presenters employed cutting-edge technology. Yozo Kurita, from Bungoono, Oita Prefecture, uses software he has developed to automate hydroponic farming of honewort.
 ミツバの水耕栽培を自力開発したソフトを使ってコンピューター管理する大分県豊後大野市の栗田洋蔵さんら最先端の技術を駆使する代表も目立ったが、

All of them have taken root in their respective regional communities and are enthusiastic about training younger farmers.
いずれも地域にしっかりと根を下ろし、後継者や新規就農者の育成にも熱心に取り組んでいるのが共通点だ。

Moreover, a couple from Yatsushiro, Kumamoto Prefecture, who took advantage of their farmland reclaimed from the sea to grow high-quality tomatoes, won a special prize because their farming method is highly suggestive to farmers in tsunami-ravaged areas.
 また、塩分の多い干拓地のハンディを逆手に取って、高品質のトマト作りを実現した熊本県八代市の古川寿男さんと秋代さんの夫妻は、被災地の農家の参考になる事例として特別賞を受賞した。

The 21 presenters have demonstrated their excellent technology and management skills.
 21代表は、その営農技術や経営感覚もさることながら、

But they should rather be praised for the strenuous efforts and ingenuity that led to their success, their contributions to the regional community and their enthusiasm for developing younger farmers.
たゆまぬ努力と工夫で活路を開き、地域や後進へのまなざしも忘れない姿勢にこそ高い価値がある。

They are models for not only farmers in disaster-hit areas but all farmers across the country.
これは被災地のみならず日本中の農家がお手本にすべきものだ。

The quake, tsunami and nuclear crisis must not cause Japanese farming to decline.
震災を日本農業の衰退ではなく、

Rather, we hope that Japanese farmers will take the disaster as an opportunity to reform and improve their industry.
むしろ再生の契機とするよう農業関係者の奮起を期待したい。

毎日新聞 2011年7月16日 2時30分
[PR]

by kiyoshimat | 2011-07-18 05:11 | 英字新聞

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