On June 2nd, 2019, “International Symposium on Sustainable Agriculture: Voices from Shinshu” was held at Kinrou Josei Kaikan Shinanoki in Nagano City, Nagano Prefecture. Following the opening remarks by Mr. Takuei Katsuyama, Director of Nagano-ken Yuki Nougyou Kenkyukai, and a talk by Prof. Steven McGreevy, FEAST Project Leader, “Environmentally and economically sustainable Shinshu: Food and agriculture”, Prof. Miguel Altieri from University of California, Berkeley gave a keynote speech “Why agroecology now?”. He introduced various cases of agroecological practices in Latin America such as application of allelopathy in lieu of plastic mulch.
The following panel discussion started off with Ms. Erika Saito’s self-introduction who started organic farming in Matsumoto City after her volunteer work in Africa, which led to a lively discussion amongst the panelists. With her stating “the life in the developed countries are dependent on Africa. They might not be escape from poverty as long as they purchase seeds and grow vegetables for export,” the discussion led to a range of topics – autonomy of the community and farmers (not depending on external inputs which could cause financial burden and incur debts), why agroecology movements started in Latin America, how the horizontal farmer-to-farmer network was created and enhanced, genetic modification, the post 911 transformation of values around the world and as such.
About 220 people from in and out of Nagano Pref. joined this movement in Nagano. Thank you very much!
● Clara Nicholls (Lecturer, University of California, Berkeley)
● Mika Tsutsumi (International journalist and author)
● Erika Saito (Organic farmer in Matsumoto City)
● Ryoko Matsuno (Town councilor of IkedaTown)
<Organizers> Nagano-ken Yuki Nougyou Kenkyu Kai, NAGANO Nou to Shoku no Kai, OBUSE Shoku to Nou no Mirai Kaigi, Suzaka-shi Kankyou Hozengata Nougyou no Kai, FEAST Project-Research Institute for Humanity and Nature
<Supporters> Nagano Prefecture, Nihon no Tane wo Mamoru Kai, Small and Family Farming Network Japan, NPO Midori no Shimin, Kodomo no Shoku Nou wo Mamoru Kai-Inabe, Saku-shi Organic Agriculture Research Association, Research Institute of Japanese Rural Medicine
You can also find the event-related information and resources from the links below.
FEAST Website：Blog Post
Event info (in Japanese)：NaganoNou to Shoku no Kai Facebook
Online report (in Japanese)：“Tsutaeru Shoku to Nou Link Net Shinshu”, on information paper on Nagano’s food and agriculture
Video clips (in English and Japanese)
⓵ “International Syposium on Sustainable Agriculture 1”
② “International Syposium on Sustainable Agriculture 2”
③ “International Syposium on Sustainable Agriculture 3”
Event leaflet (in English and Japanese)：Download