Visit Umaji Village in Kochi Prefecture. Umaji is Uma (horse) plus ji (road). It means we must reach Umaji by horse. But it is old story. Now we can enjoy smooth car drive to Umaji even though the road is narrow and winding.
Umaji, whose population is 930 persons, is now famous as success case of local revitalization by processing of yuzu, very good smelling citrus. JA Umaji has 5 factories to process many kinds of yuzu goods, as yuzu drink, yuzu ponzu source, yuzu jam, yuzu chili, yuzu pepper, yuzu liqueur, yuzu cosmetics, yuzu ‘aromatics, and so on. Yuzu seed becomes good material for cosmetics.
Amazing, isn’t it? Only 930-populated tiny village in mountainous area has 5 factories. Most of products are sold through mail order or internet to all areas in Japan, with increasing the number of fans of Umaji. Umaji offers the status of special villager to those fans.
This has been promoted by JA Umaji. JA Umaji has its very unique and impressive business model to revive tiny mountainous village, through the integration of production of yuzu, processing, and marketing.
However, as other villages in Japan, Umaji also faces to depopulation and aging. How is the way to satisfy with increasing market demand for yuzu products under decreasing of labor? Mechanization is one of the answer with 5 factories. But, is it sustainable in the future? Is it overcapacity or not?
The challenge of Umaji will be severer.
In the name of “JICA Program on Data Collection Survey on Public-Private-Partnership for Activating Agricultural Promotion in Indonesia”, I will visit Kochi and Fukushima with local government officials from Indonesia in 8-13 September, 2016.
This JICA Program studies on the possibility to create partnership and cooperation in agriculture and/or livestock sector between local government in Indonesia and Japan, and between government and private sector. The key is how to realize win-win partnership between them.
So, even in the name of JICA, this is not pure assistance or aid program from Japan to Indonesia.
I will visit Kochi in 8-10 September and Fukushima in 11-13 September.
In the name of JICA survey on local to local partnership in agriculture between Indonesia and Japan, I brought three persons from Fukushima city to Malang and Batu, East Java, Indonesia, in July 26-28, 2016.
Fukushima and Malang/Batu have the same character as center of fruits production and processing. Fukushima is very famous as production center of peach, pear, apple and other fruits except orange. Malang and Batu are famous as apple, orange, crystal guava, and other tropical fruits.
In Malang and Batu, we discussed with those two local governments about the direction of this supposed partnership and share the philosophy of agriculture in the future. We agreed with farmers-centered agricultural industrialization against strong wave of globalization through market forces.
In other words, the main objective is to improve the position and income of farmers, supported by manufacturers. More focus on sustainability and continuity of interaction between farmers and manufacturers, rather than the increase of production and productivity that are requested by market force.
For example, vacuum fried chips (kripik) are main products of fruit processing in Malang and Batu now. Because of that, the future of kripik is not prospective because more manufacturers will start to produce kripik and more supply of kripik will decline the value of processing. Very difficult to increase the income of farmers. Processing-centered strategies will not always be good result to farmers.
So, my guests from Fukushima requested farmers in Malang and Batu not just satisfy as suppliers of fruits materials for manufacturers, but try to produce qualified fresh fruits against dominant imported fruits in Indonesian market. Food security is the biggest concern of Fukushima after the nuclear power plant accident. Fukushima has made extra hard effort to recover its trust in agriculture market until now.
The key is not only the quality, but also the security of foods and agricultural products. Also, organic products are not always accepted in market if they are not so delicious. Farmers try to produce delicious fruits with paying attention to food security (and may be in organic way). We think this with seeing many small apples in a tree in Batu.
In September, we will invite local government officials from Malang and Batu to Fukushima to see and understand the system of agriculture, mainly of fruits. We will continue to discuss about real partnership building in fruits promotion between Fukushima and Malang/Batu. See the next step.
In the name of JICA survey, I visited Malang city and Batu city in East Java province in July 14-16, 2016.
This survey will search for possible cooperation and partnership relation between local government in Japan and in Indonesia to promote win-win private business development on agriculture and livestock sector.
So, there are two kinds of partnership in this survey: local government in Japan and local government in Indonesia; and government sector and private sector in each local government.
Malang city and Batu city are included as the candidate local government in Indonesia, especially in the field of fruits production, processing and marketing development. So, what will the partner candidate in Japan?
Anyway, in July 14, I visited the Office of Agriculture of Malang city to discuss with the Head at 8:30 am. Unfortunately, he was asked by Mayor to attend urgent important meeting in the City Hall. So, I had to just wait for the finish of the meeting. Maybe 1-2 hours, I think.
At last, I could meet the Head at 3 pm. He wanted me to meet the Mayor. I was very surprised at hearing it because it is usually very difficult to make appointment the local head as Governor, district head (Bupati), or Mayor.
Fortunately, thanks to the initiative of the Head of the Office of Agriculture, I met the Mayor, Bapak H. Moch. Anton. I explained about our survey and he appreciated us very much. He gave some suggestions and hints to promote next step for partnership building with local government in Japan.
What will happen in the next step? We will see it later.
With more than 30 years experiences and human networks as a specialist of Indonesian affairs, Matsui Glocal LLC assists your business and activities widely and deeply in/with Japan, Indonesia, and local-to-local in the world.
Dengan pengalaman kerja dan jaringan berbagai kalangan sebagai ahli Indonesia selama 30 tahun lebih, Matsui Glocal LLC mendukung bisnis dan kegiatan anda lebih luas dan lebih dalam di/dengan Jepang, Indonesia, dan lokal-lokal di dunia.
Email: email@example.com (Japanese, English, Bahasa Indonesia)
Tokyo = Jakarta (July 10)
Jakarta (July 11-13)
Malang & Batu (July 14-15)
Surabaya (July 15-16)
Bantaeng (July 17-20)
Makassar (July 20-21)
Jakarta (July 22-25)
Malang & Batu (July 26-28)
Jakarta (July 29 – Aug 5)
Jakarta = Tokyo (Aug 6)
Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri 1 Syawal 1437 H !
Mohon Maaf Lahir dan Batin.
Eid Mubarak for All Muslim Friends !
Love and Peace for All. Pray and action.
A Happy New Year 2016 from Tokyo !
Love and Peace for all people in the world !
In April, 2015, my work base was moved from Indonesia to Japan. Now I often go and back between Japan and Indonesia as an independent consultant and facilitator. Recently, not only Japanese side but Indonesian side has asked me to be speaker in a seminar or to consult about local business development.
In 2016, I will set up my main work base in Fukushima-city, my hometown, and sub base in Tokyo. This is for my preparation to start my role as a catalyst to connect local-to-local and local-to-global without any border of nation, generation, race, ethnicity and so on.
At first, I will try to approach from Fukushima to locals in Japan and locals in the world, not only to extend real information about Fukushima but also to share challenges and new ideas to tackle serious global issues from viewpoints of locals in the world.
Of course, I will continue to work as a specialist of Indonesian affairs, to increase and strengthen the mutual trust relationship between Japan and Indonesia. Yes, trust relationship is not limited to Japan and Indonesia, but all of the world. So, I also want to visit local communities in many countries to spread our activities. Please invite me.
With paying attention to our local communities, I want to be professional catalyst to connect people to people, local to local, and local to global with creating new hope and sharing our better future.
I believe many friends take actions in the same direction to realize them, starting little things from our daily life. Please share our hope and let’s support together.
In December 18, 2015, I was asked to give a lecture at Rikkyo University, Tokyo, by my friend, Prof. Mitsuhiko Kataoka. He has given his lecture of Development Economics not in Japanese but in English, even though most of his students are Japanese.
So, I had to give my lecture in English. Indeed, I can speak Indonesian (Bahasa Indonesia) far better than my English (maybe sometimes than my Japanese when I try to joke). In addition, one observer, who is an English specialist, attended my lecture.
According to Prof. Kataoka, I must speak about my job description, career path, essential skills for my work, and some stories based on my experiences. Because this lecture is in line with Development Economics, I had tried to give students some opportunities to think about development assistance. Yes, some of the students want to work in the world of development assistance.
I put some essential skills for my job as follows. (1) Flexibility. Acceptability of Differences; (2) Curiosity. Enjoy something strange; (3) Inquiring minds. Not satisfy easily; (4) Always think something new; (5) Imagination on others; and (6) Toughness and good health.
After that, I gave some keywords to think about development assistance.
For example, development; community; empowerment; outsider / insider; exogenous / indigenous; ownership / sense of belongings; and conscientization.
By using these keywords, I had tried to give an opportunity for students to think about relationship between who conducts development assistance project and who are beneficiaries of the project.
I asked students how they feel if one day foreigners suddenly come to their village to explain about the project. They answered that it was none of their business and annoying. So, how is the way for outsiders to get real needs for the project from insiders? Maybe insiders sometimes didn’t know their real issues and problems as needs for the project. Or, assumptions of the project are not always based on the real issues and problems.
During our discussion, they found that the project has no meanings if it is not based on real needs from real issues and problems. Insiders usually try to match themselves to what outsiders want, by saying “what can I do for you?” or “may I help you?”. Because of time limitation of the project, outsiders often ignore to check their assumption about project needs again and again to insiders.
For students, such discussion was maybe not common in their lecture. So, I asked to them to think about how to grow-up insiders’ ownership and sense of belongings by themselves without compulsion from outsiders. In other words, how to realize concientization of insiders by themselves.
I think, my 45 minutes of lecture time was not enough to discuss those things, but, I tried to give them the first opportunities to think development assistance not only from donor side but also from beneficiary side. I needed another two or three lecture time, maybe.
Anyway, I want to say thank you very much to Prof. Kataoka to give me very good chance to give my lecture to students. I am very glad if my lecture give them a little insight to think of their future by themselves.
And also thank you for your patience to read my poor English !