Japan has a long history of organic farming. One of the leaders, Ishizu Fumio from Shiga Prefecture has been active during 2010 together with the Japan Citizens’ Network for Planet Diversity (MOP5 Network) and the No! GMO Campaign.
As a farmer, he has successfully shown that traditional organic farming techniques that do not rely on pesticides or chemical fertilizers are a viable way to produce healthy food. He often invites groups to his farm to show the abundant biological diversity among his wet-land rice and veggy fields.
“Add Organic foods to the Eco Point system,” Ishizu-san pleaded at a seminar in Nagoya in July, 2010. He noted that the big United Nations meeting in October would discuss liability and redress issues, in case farms are contaminated by genetically modified organisms (GMO). GMO-free zones, first introduced in Japan in 2005, are one way for farmers to communicate to consumers that they do not wish to use GMO crops.
To encourage farmers, better support is needed. This would also benefit consumers who are looking for ways to support local farmers and purchase produce and grains that are good for the environment. Ishizu-san’s farm has made a name for its rice under the “Harie Genki Rice” brand, with a group of organic farmers.
Some 500 people participated in the event in Nagoya on July 3, 2010
Over the past years, Japan’s government has come to the aid of electric appliance makers and car manufacturers with the Eco Point system. Now is the time to include certified organic food making them available at an affordable price.
Read more (in Japanese) シンポジウム「未来につなごう いのちを育む食と農」を開催 (Seikatsu Club homepage)
MAFF information about Ishizu Fumio’s farm in Shiga Prefecture (in Japanese) むらづくりの背景動機
Japan Organic Agriculture Association website (in English)