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I want to protect Japanese food and agriculture (Tategamori, winter article reprint)

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◎This is a reprint of an article published in 2008, "Tategamori Winter" (a public relations magazine for Tategamori Ark Ranch).
Although it is an article from 10 years ago, the content does not fade,
Rather, in terms of food safety and the environment surrounding Japanese agriculture,
It is a content that I would like you to read because society's interest is increasing now.

[I want to protect Japanese food and agriculture]

Japan is one of the few countries in the world with four distinct seasons.
Being an island country with few plains and many mountains, it is rich in both seafood and mountains.
Since ancient times, Japanese people have felt the season through food, as various ingredients convey the season according to the season.

However, not only recently, but almost every day we hear news that threatens Japanese food.
Poisonous substances are mixed, foreign substances are mixed ...
When I see such reports, I feel guilty as a person involved in production, and
What can you do as a person on the production floor? I ask myself.
Food, which is supposed to nurture a healthy body, should not pose a danger to the body.
While there are people suffering from hunger,
I can't help but question the use of food as fuel.

However, Japan is also a strange country. As the price of rice falls,
Without loosening the acreage reduction policy, subsidies will be paid instead if rice is not produced.
While domestic farmland is in ruins, we consume a huge amount of energy and import food from overseas.
If you think about it, you can buy rice mixed with poison from overseas at a high price, called minimum access.
Having said that, the reality is that most of the feed used to produce ARK's pork and eggs is imported from overseas (though of course we give top priority to non-GMO products).

What can we as producers do in this situation? I think about that every day.
As you know, Japan's food self-sufficiency rate is the lowest among developed countries.
I don't think all food produced overseas is bad,
Do people from overseas who produce food that is imported through price competition think about the health of the Japanese people and the bodies of the people who will eat it?
I wonder.
However, many Japanese producers say, "I want them to be happy" and "I want them to say it's delicious."
I think that the smile of such a consumer is considered first and foremost in production.
All the people I know are like that.
Considering this, we should raise the domestic food self-sufficiency rate even a little,
I think we Japanese have to make what we Japanese eat.

This year, ARK started working on feed rice.
It is what you feed when you produce pork or eggs.
It all started when I was talking to an acquaintance of mine who was a farmer.
"Actually, I want to grow rice without changing crops or suspending crops, but I can't grow rice because of regulations."
I heard a story like that.
After that, I did some research and found out that there are various regulations regarding rice, which is the staple food of the Japanese people.
It was all under the pretext of protecting the farmers,
On the contrary, it seemed to tie up Japanese agriculture.

<Project members>

I thought that if we were doing this, we would never see the development of Japanese agriculture.
With the cooperation of the local people, we have started cultivating 100 square meters of the planted area this year.
With the help of various people, I obtained the seeds of high-yield rice called Fukuhibiki.
It was the first time for everyone in the area to take part,
He seems to have gotten a good response, and I'm looking forward to working on a larger area next year.

<Overview of “ARK Farm Feed Rice Project”>

Certainly, production costs go up.
On the other hand, to continue these efforts, we need to make the price acceptable to consumers.
For that reason, severe production management will be necessary from now on,
We believe that we must strive to create even higher quality food.
This is because when we think globally about the future of Japan 10 or 20 years from now,
This is because I feel a greater sense of crisis if we continue to bring in food from overseas while leaving the farmland in ruins.

A lush green land is not created only by forests.
The land rich in crops retains water, nurtures the creatures that gather there,
It keeps the food chain of microbes in balance.
ARK will continue to work hard every day under the philosophy of “Food is life”.

Representative Director Shinei Hashimoto

▼Check out the online shop of Tategamori Ark Ranch.

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