Policy / Systems / Technology

May 19, 2005


Shiga Prefecture Promoting Green Farming

Keywords: Chemicals Food Local government Policy / Systems 

Shiga Prefecture in Japan has been promoting a certification and producer-agreement system for environmentally conscious farming since January 2004. As of July 2004, about 800 agricultural products were either certified or covered by agreements under the system.

Under its ordinance for the promotion of environmentally conscious farming enforced in April 2003, the prefectural government issues "eco-conscious" certifications for farm products produced using ecological technologies, such as those that reduce the use of agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilizers by 50 percent or less compared with conventional farming, and minimize environmental impacts on Lake Biwa and its surroundings (e.g., by preventing muddy water from flowing into rivers and the lake). The certificated agricultural products are allowed to display the prefectural certification logos when shipped or sold.

The basic plan for this system is under the theme "building a better relationship between people, farm products and Lake Biwa," which has three pillars: (1) to make agriculture that is harmonious with the natural environment the standard for Shiga; (2) to promote eco-friendly farm products as the Shiga "brand¡É; and (3) to expand green purchasing of food in a way that builds communication between producers and consumers and has everyone in the prefecture supporting ecological farming. With this plan, the prefectural government and its citizens aim to establish a positive cycle of production, distribution and consumption as well as to promote ecological farming.

The prefectural government set up various numerical targets for fiscal 2007 to promote eco-conscious farming. The consumption of agricultural chemicals and chemical fertilizers is to be reduced by 15 percent compared with base year of fiscal 1998. The acreage producing certified products is to be expanded. In particular, the area of paddy rice production is to be expanded from 970.2 (fiscal 2003) to 4,500 hectares, and vegetables from 145.4 (fiscal 2003) to 300 hectares. Finally, the rate of purchasers in Shiga who have bought environmentally friendly farm products is to be increased from 6.4 to 33 percent.

Posted: 2005/05/19 11:36:38 PM
Japanese version