In 14 March 2019, I met with several farmer leaders in Batu. We exchanged information about current situation of agriculture in Batu and farmer’s efforts to make optimal innovation in the field.
In 23-28 September 2018, I visited Batu city again as a team member of feasibility study on agricultural cooperation between Fukushima city and Batu city, East Java.
We discussed about how to manage agricultural development in Batu with its mayor and its government officials. Many fruitful information and suggestion we got.
We will invite the delegation of Batu city to Fukushima and Tokyo in 29 October – 2 November 2018.
In 9-15 September 2018, I visited South Sulawesi (Wajo, Pinrang & Makassar) and Jakarta with the delegation of Ishikawa Prefecture, Japan, to survey about direct seeding of rice in South Sulawesi.
Ishikawa Prefecture and South Sulawesi Province are now facing the same serious challenge of labor shortage in agriculture and both of them think that direct seeding of rice may be the key technology to overcome it.
The delegation directly made field observation, discussed about farming with rice farmers, and got fruitful information from the field. I hope we will have next step for good opportunity to deeply exchange farmer’s knowledge and experience between Ishikawa Prefecture and South Sulawesi Province.
As a study team member, I visited Indonesia for kick-off of our feasibility study on agricultural cooperation between Fukushima city and Batu city, East Java.
We discussed contents and directions of this study with Mayor and government officials of Batu city and exchanged opinion and information with Ministry of Agriculture.
Our team consists of Ginray Co. Ltd. from Fukushima, JA Fukushima Mirai, Prof. Sugiura (Chuo Univ) as chief advisor, ERM Japan and me. We will invite the mission from Batu city headed by its mayor to Fukushima in next July.
I visited Pinrang Regfency (23-24 October 2017) and Bantaeng Regency (25-26 October 2017), South Sulawesi province, to get information about current situation of agriculture, especially horticulture, and discussed with local government and farmer groups.
I visited Cianjur Regency, West Java, in 18-19 October 2017 to survey about current condition of its agriculture, especially horticulture, with discussed with government officials and farmers group.
I visited Karawang Regency, West Java Province, in 14-15 October, 2017, to get information and discuss about current situation of agriculture, especially rice farming, with local government officials and farmer’s groups.
I attended a study meeting on harmful rumor in the afternoon. The meeting was organized by Fukushima 30-Year Project and lectured by Prof. Ryota Koyama (Fukushima University).
I visited Kota Batu again in 31 October – 1 November. This is the last visit this year to complete the cooperation and collaboration direction between Kota Batu and Fukushima City in agriculture sector.
A proposal was submitted from Fukushima to Batu and we discussed it together. Because the proposal was satisfied with needs from Kota Batu, generally we agreed.
Fukushima team was welcomed by Mayor of Kota Batu, too. Fukushima team appreciated very much on very warm acceptance and positive response from the mayor on the cooperation and collaboration direction.
We will start next step to long-term partnership between Kota Batu and Fukushima City.
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.