Activities in Japan

Prize-winning Student Essay<br>Title “Developing Agriculture into the Food Value Chain”


Developing Agriculture into the Food Value Chain


The Yanmar Group was aware of the number of active farmers and their associations that were meeting challenges at the forefront of their industry across Japan. They have continued having dreams and desires for the 21st century, despite the harsh economic reality that descended on Japanese agriculture in the turning-point year of 1990. Yanmar, under its slogan, “Making Japanese Agriculture Interesting: Change and Action,” has held positive discussions about the future of agriculture and applauded their efforts.

At the same time, we launched a project to solicit students’ prize-winning essays, with the goal of encouraging young people, who will become future leaders, to hold positive discussions about the future of agriculture and farming regions.

The agricultural sector is changing rapidly and significantly in Japan and around the world. To ensure the sustainability of agriculture, it is essential that we cope with the current changes effectively. The world population is now 7 billion, and it is likely to grow to almost 10 billion by 2050. Although food demand continues to increase, the amount of land on earth that remains available for agriculture is limited. Reclamation of new land for cultivation will lead to other problems, such as destruction of forests. All regions are experiencing economic development and populations are shifting to the cities, while the segment of the population involved in agriculture continues to decrease. In such an environment, a decreasing number of farmers must satisfy the increasing demand for food. We wonder whether a sustainable future is possible unless we develop and change the current approach to agriculture and food production for the future.

In light of these circumstances, the Yanmar Group intends to continue pursuing productivity and circulation of resources with the goal of maintaining constant improvement. In addition, to deal with the changes we are experiencing, we are focused on achieving economic efficiency with a system that makes agriculture profitable and enhances the value added to agriculture and agricultural products. Although agriculture and its products are essential to protecting and maintaining human health and life, the primary industry is structured in a manner that hinders profitability. In order to offer a broader range of solutions related to food by taking part in the food value chain, including processing and distribution after production, we intend to develop a system for profitable agriculture through greater economic efficiency. We will pursue this ideal with young people and will lead the next era by adding greater values to products.

This marks our 28th consecutive year of involvement in this project. We expect students to propose solutions that enable agriculture to develop into an attractive food value chain by focusing on productivity, circulation of resources, and economic efficiency in the agricultural sector in Japan and around the world. We are eager to consider each proposal about agriculture in an open manner and with a wider perspective. We invite many young people to submit proposals full of youth and idealism.