Fusion of tradition and innovation -Fuki Farm

I visited Fuki Farm (婦木農場) which is located in Tamba, Hyogo prefecture.

Tamba is located in the East part of Hyogo prefecture, which is known since ancient times. In the 4-5 centuries, several ancient burial mounds were constructed.

According to their records, Fuki Farm was also started a long time ago by their ancestor.

Nowadays, they grow rice, wheat, beans, more than 130 vegetables in 8ha, in addition, care of jersey milk cows and 150 hen.


Their feed is mainly grass harvested in the community. The community has a common organic manure facility in order to collect and use the manure in the community.

Mostly, they sell products to their client directly.
Additionally, they make rice cake and rice malt and etc…

Their vision is “To offer harvested products of which my family can take a big bite”


In 2013, the facility for agricultural experience was open.
You can stay and work with them together! Of course, the food is delicious and fresh!

I had never had such as sweet and tasty carrot, tasty rice cake and flavoured egg!
Besides eating, we spent an enjoyable time with the farmers.

It might be quite difficult to eat authenticJapanese homemade meal in a city.

Grand parents, parents and two sons are working on the farm.
Everyone has their own profession and responsibility, and facing a new challenge, for instance, the oldest son started making cheese “St.marcellin” since 2016.

Recently, a lack of successor is a big problem in Japanese agricultural sector, but the young and promising sons seem to be a proud of their work and the responsibility.
I highly recommend to visit the farm!


Vegetarian cafe in Nagoya, JAPAN

You might be surprised but it is difficult to find a vegetarian restaurant in Japan.
We take lessons how important to eat a well-balanced diet at junior high and secondary school. So that we tend to eat well-balanced meal including meat and fish in spite of a relatively small amount.

However, a number of vegetarian is increasing at international level. For instance, in the Netherlands, vegetarian is fairly common. A study has shown that the number of vegetarians out of a population of nearly 16.5 million people increased from 560,000 in 2004 to 720,000 in 2006. 

One day…. coincidently, I found very interesting vegetarian cafe in my hometown.


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This lunch menu is for vegetarians and vegans.
The taste is delicious and the price is also friendly.


The owner explained that they purchase a stock of the vegetables from Agrin mura where is organised farmer’s market in the same prefecture. In addition, they try to select organic, local produced or less chemical pesticide vegetables because many Japanese people started considering “Food safety” after the big earthquake in 2011.

“We want to purchase vegetables directly from organic or local farm, however, our sales, in other words,our demand of vegetables is fluctuate every week. So it’s a bit difficult.”

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It is located in a hidden place but I highly recommend to visit the place!

Film making “An international Student visits to Dutch organic farm run by female enterpreneurs “

Rural Development, Communication and Innovation and Gender students in Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Science made two films in Media Design for Social Change module 2016.

Media Design for Social Change Module 2016

The objective of this filming is to visualise through the eyes of International Student in the Netherlands in order to contribute to the development of e-learning materials for the module on Agricultural and Rural Service delivery and Social Entrepreneurship of ARI PhD Programme at Makerere University, Uganda.

These films were produced by 2 groups.

Eagle Studio visualises the shortened value chain of vegetables from working on the farm, vegetable bags distributing to consumers and shops directly from the farm, while visiting the farm and talking with the farmers and customers in the shop. The film visualises a case study of the production of a vegetables value chain through the eyes of International Students in the Netherlands.

The title is “Is she a farmer or an entrepreneur? An international visit to an organic farm in the Netherlands”.


While, Creative studio portrayed the young women entrepreneurs in agriculture in the Netherlands. The title is “Why did she choose to be a farmer? An international visit to Dutch female farmers”.


In a pre-production phase, students conducted research relevant to each subjects in order to understand deeply, and discuss their style and design of these films.

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Discussion in Eagle Studio

The footage for these films was recorded on 31 May 2016 at organic horticultural farm, Tuinderij De Stroom in Randwijk, the Netherlands run by three female entrepreneurs, and organic shop Lazuur where their clients can take their vegetable bags. Students from the both studio played a role as actor and/or actress, besides took responsibilities of taking list and assistant director as film crew.


Anmoniche Mtvewe (RDG) was impressed that these people on this farm is very organised. So he states “The filming on this farm was very good idea”. Furthermore, Linda Njoku (RDC) states “I will show this film to anybody, not to farmers also but to other people”.

In a post production phase, the transcript and the script were made from the footage and students discussed for a long time in order to prepare for the script.

The both studio watched and discussed the edited script. The films from two studio had a somehow overlapped such as sound, whereas they looked different films from the editing style and the objective. They discussed the effective order of reflection in Eagle studio film. In addition, the effectiveness of a private view from Nurul Aeni (RDG) in Creative studio film was also discussed. Dalawit Kahsay (RDG) stated “The informal discussion in Creative studio film will motivate women to become a farmer”.

The actresses commented, Tiwalola Akinsola (RDC): “It’s nice but I was a bit consciously”, Linda: “Watching the film remind me of the day” and Nurul: “ I am still nervous but nice informal and personal movie”.

Multiple mini tuber by horticultural technology

Because of detect the first case of Global Pallida in 2015, the resistant variety is demanded.

So that constructing the glass house with aeroponics system (mist environment without the use of soil or medium/liquid fertiliser) has been planed for quick multiplication.

The term of delivering the resistant variety to ware potato farmers will be shortened from 10 years to 4 years. The multiple rate will increase from 10 to 100 as well.


Click to access 27_403.pdf

Trend in Japanese “French Fries” market

Fried potatoes arrived in Japan in 1970 thanks to Osaka Expo!

Recently, the consumption of table potatoes is decreasing whereas, the consumption of “processing potatoes” is moderately increasing. (505,000 ton in 2013) Especially, the consumption of frozen potatoes per person is remarkable. (112,000 ton in 2013)

Amount of import (frozen potatoes) was 385,000 ton in 2012. The main export country is the USA, China, Canada, the Netherlands and Belgium. This number is increasing every year.

Recently, “Friets” made of European variety is becoming popular instead of “McDonald’s” and “KFC” fried potatoes. Fries are no longer “Junk Food”!!

Fries made of Agria in the Netherlands

One of famous 24-hour opened convenience stores, Lawson, launched a new style “French Fries” made of “Bintje” grown in Belgium, NL, France and Germany in 2015.


Other convenience store, Ministop, provides 4 different kinds of potato snacks.
1) A thick cut: Bintje? (Germany)
2) Hushed potato: Hokkai kogane (Hokkaido/Japan)
3) Natural cut: (USA)
4) X fried potato: Agria (Germany)

Of course, Danshaku (Irish Cobbler) still dominates a Japanese potato market even in a processing industry.

I hope that a healthy (hippy) burger and fries culture will be common in Japan soon!

Source: Ministry of Agriculture(2013)

Spring flavoured Japanese potato chips

In Japan, there are a lot of seasonal flavoured snacks.
Potato chips are one of the attractive unique flavoured.

Left: Sweet salt Right: Honey cheese

This chips are sold until June 2016 for a limited time.


The texture is crispy and crumble… and melt in the mouth!!!
Never experienced texture!!!

The taste is also very unique because the potato itself has a sweetness.
Personally, I prefer sweet salt flavoured because of the perfect balance of salty and sweetness.

Actually, “Snowden”(American variety, registered in 1997 in Japan) is used for these chips.
Snowden is adequate for a long term storage. The potato intensifies the sweetness after the long term storage.

Japanese prefers sweet vegetables even potatoes.
So nowadays many people make an effort to store post harvest potatoes for a long period and experiment with potato sweetness storage.

Japan in Berlin

Japanese cafe and restaurant in Berlin are very special as well as city of Berlin.

Although there are some authentic Japanese restaurants in Amsterdam, I was missing the kinds of Japanese cafe!

MAMECHA serves various kinds of Japanese tea not only green tea but also familiar tea such as bancha, mugi cha…. Of course tea based sweet drinks!!!


The creative and fusion atmosphere with Western and Japanese style made me nostalgic rather than cheesy authentic Japanese decoration in Europe.

We enjoyed Sencha(with instruction how to make tea) and cookie with tea leaves. An advantage point of green tea is “You can make tea a couple of times with the same tea leaves”. Obviously, we spent lazy and relax time here with Japanese friend living in Berlin!!


After the long tea time we headed to Japanese ramen restaurant; Cocolo because the ramen is considered a delicious and creative. Moreover, most of customers are German besides the owner is German. Very curious!!

BUT… the restaurant was close for the new year holiday… We missed the opportunity… Should have checked the holiday…

Instead of the ramen, we found the tasty burger!
“One person’s junk is another person’s treasure”

Linkage project of carbon offset and food waste

Reducing CO2 emission must be a subject of considerable discussion during the UN Climate conference (COP21).

I would like to introduce a carbon offset project in Japan.

Carbon offset; a reduction in CO2 emission made in order to compensate for or offset the emission made elsewhere.

“Waste Box” (Nagoya, Japan) has calculated and reported organisational CO2 emission since 2008. Currently, they are a certified offset provider in carbon offset third-party certificate programme by Minister of Environment as well as be adopted by carbon offset area council.

As a part of continuing effort to promote the concept “carbon offset”, they launched “series of soft dried fruit” in 2013.

A first of a series was a wasted “apple” utilisation. The food waste is cased by small damage in Japan… A part of the the profits from the sales is donated to environmental conservation.

One sale of the dried fruit product generates 1 JPY for environmental conservation although producing emits  CO2 for 2 JPY. Eventually 50% CO2 can be offset.


Max Havelaar Lecture On 28 October 2015

Sustainable Development Goals (SDG)

Why this conference was held?

In 2015 highlights of the new UN 2030 Agenda are a finalization of Milennium Development Goals (MDGs) and start-up of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is about time for reflection of MDGs that lasted for 15 years and think about the next era.

The conference opened from the phrase “new ear should be transit from negative frame to positive frame, from Mono-approach (government) to Multi-actor approaches (government + firms + civil) and from special problem of ‘south’ countries to universal problem” by Prof. dr. Steef van de Velde and Prof. dr. Rob van Thulder (Erasmus University). Today a complexity of problem is being enhanced from conflicts and security due to the fragile states to gender equality. Some assignment, however, many problems still remain and new problem arise. For instance, CO2 emission is dramatically increasing, 4 billion ㎥ ton food waste meanwhile people are disturbing. Needles to say, climate action and sustainable communication strategy are crucial.


Contents of SDGs

This new Agenda is a plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 sub-goals show the scale and ambition of this new universal Agenda.

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent work and Economic growth
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequalities
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace Justice and Strong Institution
  17. Partnerships for the Goals

What was the problem of MDGs

MDGs achieved the poverty reduction, such as, -50% poverty, over 90% primary education etc… whereas many challenges still exist. For example, too many goals led to complexity. No priority, too long terms to solve the issue, investment gap; The Netherlands also lowered its budget for developing aid and underinvestment to Civil Society Organization (CSOs).

Ms. Nisha Bakker (Unicef NL) also mentioned “Much progress has been made in reducing preventable child deaths, ensuring more people have access to safe water and nutritious food. However, in the MDGs, inequalities, protecting children from violence and combating climate change were not covered.” So she believes that SDGs should be Multi-actor approach not only from government. “Think as our problem”.

New technology is useful for SDGs?

A student from KPN SDG campaign proposed that digitization would be solved with the youth unemployment in remote area. Some speakers also emphasised that the improvement of digitization/ICT must be a help of SDGs.

Think from Multi-perspective

Mr Hans Buis (VNG International Millennium campaign) insisted “Connection among local governments must be important because we can help the section of environment conservation, power inequality, sanitation and disease in rural area from the perspective of the similar position. “ Ms. Marina Diboma (Chapter Head Africa 2.0) also recommended confidentially that co-creation with young African leaders must be indispensable from her childhood experience and the life in the Netherlands.


Ms. Lucia van Westerlaak (FNV policy advisor on ICR and covenants) suggested that they communicate to reach international agreement on core labour standard. Their aim is no discrimination, no child labour as well as freedom of association. Besides, he mentioned that more than 60 organization such as firms, NGOs, governments and knowledge institutions in the Netherlands decided to work together in partnerships to achieve the SDGs. 13 private sectors (bank, food, construction, oil and gas and etc) are considering to link with SDGs in related to FoA (incl social and economic growth) and LW, child labour, discrimination, fair trade and aid. Value chains and entrepreneurship are valuable because inspiring narratives stimulates consumers to change their behaviour and purchase the products that have a story behind. Consequently, unfair labour is decreased.

Mr. Hans de Jong (CEO Philips Benelux) aspires to contribute to SDGs in the part of health, energy and sustainability of production, using Multi-actor approaches with foundation such as UNICEF to generate a co-creation with “south countries”. Additionally, he promised to drive sustainable/meaningful innovation by considering both the social needs and the ecological footprint.

Mr. Ronald Wormgoor (Socio-Economic Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs); “Key of the new way is aid, tax, knowledge, trade/investment and partnership. Moreover, dimension of SDGs is policy coherence, implementation at national level, development cooperation, and transdisciplinarity for SDGs agenda.” To achieve the win-win situation, the circular economy and communication strategy should be considered. “Everyone is possible to plan for the future, have the right to play and negotiate the agenda. This is our universal goal.”

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