Practical Campaign for Agricultural Restoration of Ehime

   Our nation's calorie-based food self-sufficiency rate is 40%,dropping to a minimum level among
   other major advanced nations,and increasing the yield of safe and secure domestic agricultural
   and livestock produce as well as improving our self-sufficiency rate are urgently required issues in
   order to meet our people's expectations.In order to free our citizens and consumers from anxiety,
   not only is it necessary to establish food safety and security measures,but also domestic resources
   need to be fully employed,such as utilizing farmlands and fostering supporters.

   Furthermore,decline in agricultural income is giving rise to worsening farm household management,
   which combined with the growth in the aging population is causmg the increase in those disengaging
   themselves from farming as well as increase in abandoned cultivated lands.As a consequence,
   agricultural produce output has decreased,weakening the production bases.In particular,according
   to the Census of Agriculture and Forestry 2010,the current agricultural state of Ehime shows that
   the rate of abandoned cultivated land was 10,416hectares,fourth in national ranking,the agricultural
   produce output was ¥122.2 billion in 2009,26th in national ranking,and agricultural income was
   ¥37.7 billion in 2009 and has been decreasing about 28.6% in five years since .Moreover,in view
   of the tendencies of farm households,a severe agricultural structure such that the number of farm
   households was 50,234,a 10% decline in five years since 2005,is ensuing,according to the
   agriculture and forestry,census.

   Against this backdrop,in October 2011 the national governmemt adopted the “Basic Policy and Action
   Plan for the Revitalization of Japan’s Food,Agriculture,Forestry and Fisheries” through which the
   goverument will,over a five-year period,focus efforts on seven strategies including (i)increasing the
   number of new farmers and accelerating the scale expansion of farms,and (ii) expanding the Sixth
   industry and strengthening its bonds with consumers,and rebuilding export strategies.As a specific
   measure,the Ministry of Agriculture,Forestry and Fisheries in close consultation with related
   organizations and towns and villages concerned is to draw up a “Personnel and Farmland Plan”containing
   such aspects as (i)management entities that will from the core of farming in the future(individual,
   corporate,and community farming),(ii)farmland accumulation in management entities,and (iii) a future
   vision of regional agriculture(production items,farming diversification,and promoting the sixth-sector
   industry)including core management entities, and other farming households(part-time and noncommercial
   farm households) with a view to realizing a strong and dynamic agricultural structure.

   JA-ZENCHU(Central Union of Agricultural Co-operatives) with the support of JA,govemments and
   other organizations concerned has put forward the “National Campaign for Implementing and
   Strengthening the Community(Hamlet-based) Farm Management Vision”(main period of the campaign
   will be the four-year period from 2012 to 2015). The campaign is based at the community leve1,and
   focuses on (i) clarifying core farm management entities based on regional farming conditions and farmland
   accumulation,(ii) maximizing the roles played by experienced farmers,part-time farmers and the various
   other farm households,(iii) developing unique local production centers,diversification,and promoting the
   sixth sector,and (iv) developing affluent regional communities through agriculture based on new

   This is the fnal fiscal year of the measures to be implemented under the “Ehime Agriculture Rehabilitation
   by Improving Food Self-suffiiciency and Agricultural Income” program agreed upon by the 34th JA Ehime
   Prefectural Congress,and JA Group Ehime has been workng in cooperation with governments and
   organizations concerned in implementing the “Ehime Agriculture Rehabilitation Campaign” aimed at
   restructuring the regional agriculture strategy(farm workforce strategy,farmland strategy,crop strategy,
   and marketing strategy),promoting regional agriculture and training the farm workforce that underpins,
   and providing comprehensive business support.

   From fiscal 2013 JA Group Ehime will begin unfolding the “Regional Farm Management Vision
   Implementation Campaign”(tentative name) to implement the resolutions of the 35th JA Ehime
   Prefectural Meeting held on November 9,2012.

  (1) Term for proproty undertaking
    The campaign shall be prioritized for three years from fiscal year 2010 to 2012.

  (2) Campaign System
    The “JA Ehime Group Supporters Action Headquarters” shall be positioned as headquarters of this
    campaign,and shall manage and supervise its progress semi-annually.
    Additionally,the “JA Supporters Action Promotional Headquarters” shall take the lend at various JA
    levels and practice this campaign.

  (3) Basic Policy of Campaign
    On the grounds that the “Law partially revising the Agricultural Land Law” had been enforced on
    December 15 , 2009, the “Basic Plan for Food,Agriculture and Rural Areas”(announced in March
    2010) had been drawn up by the country,and the “Ehime Agricultural Promotion Plan” had been
    drawn up by Ehime prefecture(March 2011),each JA shall primarily practice the following issues.
    These issues shall be undertaken in cooperation with the administration and related organs in order
    to restructure local agricultural strategies,restore Ehime's agriculture as well as foster and assist
    supporters in confbrmity with the local situations,in addition to share mutual goals toward regional
    agricultural development.

    @Restructuring of Regional Agricultural Strategies
      (Medium-and Long-term Farming Promotion Plans)
     JA shall,based on the current state of regional agriculture and results of farming opinion
     surveys,devise a long-term vision on farmland use and reflect that in its regional agricultural
     strategies(restnlcturing).In this long-term vision for farmland use,farmland accumulation
     targets and full employment strategies for farmland (farmiand use adjustments, JA undertakings
     of farm management and so on) shall be determined.
     As a part of a review of municipalities’ “Basic Concept Relating to the Promotion of Improvement
     of Agricultural Management Foundation” following the amendment of the Act on Prornotion of
     Improvement of Agricultural Management Foundation,JA will tackle programs to facilitate farmland
     use and accumulation through close cooperation and collaboration with governments and other
     organizations concerned.
     In formulating the long-term farmland use vision,JA will take part in the personnel and farmland plans
     drawn up by municipalities under the initiative of the Ministry of Agriculture,Forestry and Fisheries
     from fisca1 2012,and, to ensure consistency,in conjunction with municipalities,agricultural
     committees,prefectural extension and guidance centers,and related organzations, it will examine the
     formulation and implementation of the “Regional Farm Management Vision ” focusing on (a) clarifying
     core management entities based on regional farming conditions and farmland accumulation,
     (b) maximizing the roles played by experienced farmers,part-time farmers and the various other farm
     households,(c) developing unique local production centers,diversification,and promoting the
     sixth-sector industry,and (d) developing affluent regional communities through agriculture based on
    new cooperatives.

    AInstallation of a Regional Agricultural Management Center
     By promoting the installation of an ‘one-floor,one-stop’type “ regional agricultural management
     center” in collaboration with the administration and related organs,we attempt to improve the
     convenience of supporting farm households,and to offer all-round guidance and assistance activities
     by means of mutually sharing and unifying information.
     As for the already installed “ regional management center,” we shall attempt to further reinforce its
     systems and functions.

    BDevelopment of Supporters in Conformity with Actual Local Situations
     JA shall undertake the establishnent of family management,the organization and corporation of
     community farming,and development of diverse supporters,as it clarifies the future image of
     agriculture within its jurisdiction.
     In particular,because it is difficult to mechanize farm work in the firuit tree zones in view of the special
     character of the produce items and because it is also difficult to consign the work with in the farm
     households since such work as selection and thtming out is seasonally concentrated,JA shall take the
     initiative in which to widely recruit local personnel with the skills and experience and maintain a farm
     work helpers’ unit.
     In severe locations like our prefecture’s hilly and mountainous areas, there are numerous communities
     which find it difficult to establish a community-based organization because of aging and decrease in
     number of farm households that should be center of such units.Hence we shall inquire upon
     establishing a JA-capitalized agricultural production legal person, and offer opportunities for training
     newly engaged fammers as well as assist local farming.On the other hand,we shall also inquire upon
     forming a corporation with production groups of vegetables and other produce as well as joint sorting
     groups for fruit trees and so on at the core,in an aim to develop it as a farmiand recipient and farm
     work consignment unit.Management of livestock breeding is severe due to such reasons as high prices
     of animal feed and continued depression of meat prices.Therefore,we shall continue to undertake such
     actions as rationalization of management and assurance of self-sustaining feeds in order to maintain and
     secure the livestock production base.On the other hand,by offering assistance in such ways as
     measures toward management income stability,we hope to secure a diverse management structure
     with family managementat the core,in addition to sustain and stabilize management in hopes of
     securing and encouraging successors and new comers in the business.

    CAssistance of Supporters in Farm Management and Administration
     In order to develop and secure diverse supporters,it is important to undertake “assistance in farm
     management and administration” in such ways as assistance in agricultural blue tax returns and
     suggestive counseling like management analysis and diagnosis in an aim to improve the supporter's
     management and reduce tax liabilities.
     For that purpose,JA as a whole shall assist the blue tax return as its frrst measure by means of
     helping to prepare the account statemellt as well as organtzing a unit for blue taxpayers,in addition
     to preparing a school and supporting system in which to foster agricultural blue tax retun advisers.

    DAn All-round Business Program to Cope with Supporters
     In order to secure management for supporters, JA shall reinforce the cooperation of various
     business operations and undertake an al1-round business support system such as a program
     unifying manufacture, sales and purchase, reinforcement of agricultural main bank functions
     for farm management support programs,encouraging the subscription of an agricultural accident
     insurance system, and introduction of a charge-free employment agency system.

    ERestructuring of a Farming Business Guidance System
     In order to meet the diverse needs of supporters in regional agriculture,we shall restructure
     our grade level-based training system of farming business instructors and attempt to raise their
     skill levels,in addition to prepare a farming business public relations and economy system such
     as the TAC system for dispatch assignments.We shall continue to conduct our target management
     system of farming business instructors and extend our licensing under the farming business instructor
     certification system,as well as restructure the farming business instructors training system in hopes to
     renew our training towards improving the farming business program functions.

  (4)Key Measures for Fiscal 2012

   @Restructuring the Regional Agriculture Strategy
     JA will work closely together with municipalities as they formulate their “Personnel and Farmland
     Plan”,while JA Group Ehime as a whole, in cooperation with mullicipalities,the prefectural
     govemment,and agriculture-related organzations,will work to formulate and implement a “Regional
     Agricultural Vision” that is consistent with “Personnel and Farmland Plan”. JA will also enhance
     and restructure JA regional agricultural strategies based on initiatives to revitalize farm management
     by fostering community farming organization decided upon in the course of efforts to build local
     consensus, encouraging existing community farming organizations to form corporations,expanding
     the functions of farming corporations etc., and promoting collaboration among corporations.

   APrograms to Facilitate Farmland Use and Accumulation
     JA will tackle farmland accumulation in core farm households and farming corporations through
     the effective use of the farmiand owners’ agency program and training programs under the programs
     to facilitate farmland use and accumulation, and also farmland use adjustment and farmland
     conservation through support measures for new farmers.

   BMeasures for Fostering and Supporting Prospective Farming Entities to Meet Local Conditions
    ◎Under the “Regional Farm Management Vision” and with community agreement formed at
      meetings held in conjunction with local govermnent administration and related organzations,
      JA will assign an officer to each community to identify and train community leaders in an effort
      to promote the formation of comnunity farming organizations and corporations. In conjunction
      with local govemment administration and related organzations, JA will work to establish
      community farming and strengthen existing farming organzations, foster farm workforce
      organizations through the establishment of JA-invested corporation etc., and implement new farm
      workforce training programs through the active utilization of workforce promotion measures including
      the Ehime Prefecture community farming training and support measures and new farm employment
      expansion and promotion programs.
    ◎Through JA bookkeepiIlg and bookkeeping advice,JA will strive to increase the number of blue return
      taxpayers,and organize taxpayers at the individual JA level. JA will also continue to train and support
      blue tax return advisers, and foster advisers to conduct busmess analysis and diagnosis using blue tax
      return bookkeeping data.
    ◎JA will promote independent initiatives such as farm accident prevention measures aimed at farm
      safety,and will take steps to establish a JA special insurance subscription group for the purpose
      of resolving the issue of JA without an agricultural accident insurance system so that all farm workers
      can be covered by agricultural accident insurance.

   CEstablishment of a Comprehensive Structure for Fostering and
                                 Supporting the Prospective Farming Entities
     JA will establish a Regional Agricultural Management Center to enable JA, municipal governments,
     and extension centers and other related organzations to devise concrete measures with common goals for
     promoting regional agriculture.

   DRestnicturing Farm Guidance System
     JA will provide guidance and consultation with a view to promotion of JA-initiative guidance such as
     the TAC system to meet the diverse needs of farmers.
     As well as continuing to implement the traming program for core personnel in the JAfarming and
     planning sector conrmenced last year with the aim of improving the skills of farm advisors,JA will also
     hold seminars for advisors on fertilizers and pest control, which will be required training for qualified
     farm advisors,as a means of increasing number of the qualified advisors.

  (5)Promotional System
    A prefectural secretariat shall be placed at the Ehime Prefectural Union of Agricultural Cooperatives,
    Agricultural Administrations Supporters Division, which will cooperate and collaborate with JA
    cooperatives and Zen-Noh and fully function as “Prefectural Supporters and Farmland Center.”
    We shall also set up a liaison council between the administration and related organs in hopes of securing
    the efficacy of this campaign and mutually sharing is goals. Each JA Cooperative shall set up a similar
    institution for that purpose.

 Ehime Prefectural Union of Agricultural Cooperatives
  2-3, Minamihoribatacho, Matsuyama-City, Ehime 790-8555, Japan
   Tel:+81 - 89 - 948 - 5606    Fax:+81 - 89 - 946 - 0650
Copyright(c) 2013 Ehime Prefectural Union of Agricultural Cooperatives All rigths reserved.