Agriculture and Rural Development

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Last Updated: November 19, 2007

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Japan's Action


For the development of rural areas, raising agricultural productivity is important. Japan will support the formulation of agriculture related policy, improvement of infrastructure such as irrigation and farm roads, dissemination and research development of production technologies such as NERICA (New Rice for Africa), and strengthening of community organizations. Assistance will be provided to foster economic activities in rural areas, such as processing of agricultural products, development of market distribution and sale of foodstuffs.

Reference: Japan's Medium-Term policy on ODA (February, 2005)

As Japan's ODA charter stated, Japan recognizes the importance of cooperation on agricultural issues and will work to address food shortages globally and domestically. In the short term, Japan will provide food assistance to avert humanitarian disasters. In the longer term, in order to prevent and eliminate the causality of food shortages including starvation, Japan will support policy-making in agriculture to improve productivity; develop infrastructure like irrigation facilities and rural roads; disseminate agricultural production technology; and strengthen local organizations. Moreover, assistance will be provided to other economic activities including the promotion of agricultural product processing, market distribution, and food product sales to stimulate growth in rural areas. Through this assistance, Japan hopes to increase productivity in developing countries.

Japan's support for the development and dissemination of New Rice for Africa (NERICA) is a key component of support to Africa in the agricultural sector. In recent years, consumption of rice has been increasing in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in urban areas. However, production cannot keep up with the increase in demand. The imports of rice from Asia are increasing in many countries in Africa, thus depleting their precious foreign exchange. It is against this backdrop that NERICA’s development has been so important. NERICA is resilient to drought, disease, and insect pests, and yields substantially larger harvests than existing rice varieties, therefore ideal for the African context. Japan strongly supports research, development and dissemination of NERICA in cooperation with international organizations such as the West Africa Rice Development Association (WARDA: a research center of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research) and UNDP

Source:Japan's ODA in Agricultural Sector (English (PDF, 1.64MB))

ODA Policy on Agriculture and Rural Development

- The Framework Featured in ODA Charter&Mid-Term Policy (Extracts)

Japan's Official Development Assistance Charter(August, 2003)

I. Philosophy: Objectives, Policies, and Priorities
3. Priority Issues
(1) Poverty Reduction
Poverty reduction is a key development goal shared by the international community, and is also essential for eliminating terrorism and other causes of instability in the world. Therefore, Japan will give high priorities to providing assistance to such sectors as education, health care and welfare, water and sanitation and agriculture, and will support human and social development in the developing countries. At the same time, sustainable economic growth, increase in employment, and improvement in the quality of life are indispensable for realizing poverty reduction and Japan places importance on providing assistance for these issues accordingly.

(3) Addressing Global Issues
As for global issues such as global warming and other environmental problems, infectious diseases, population, food, energy, natural disasters, terrorism, drugs, and international organized crime, further efforts must be given immediately and in a coordinated manner by the international community. Japan will address these issues through ODA and will play an active role in the creation of international norms.

Japan's Medium-Term Policy on ODA (February, 2005)

3. Priority Issues
(1) Poverty Reduction
ii. Approach to Poverty Reduction and Specific Actions
(b) Direct Assistance to the Poor
(ii) Strengthening Livelihoods
To enable the poor to break out from poverty, it is important to strengthen capacity to sustain their livelihoods and to enable them to earn income through their own productive activities. Japan will provide assistance for the development of small-scale infrastructure that will benefit the poor, such as rural markets, fishing ports, rural roads and irrigation, as well as microfinance and unemployment programs targeted at the poor. In tandem with these measures, action will be taken to develop the capabilities of the poor, such as through skills training.
(c) Assistance to Reduce Poverty Through Economic Growth
(ii) Balanced Development
Countries that are achieving economic growth also face the problem of regional disparities. These disparities occur in many cases between poor rural areas and comparatively affluent urban areas. For the development of rural areas, raising agricultural productivity is important. Japan will support the formulation of agriculture related policy, improvement of infrastructure such as irrigation and farm roads, dissemination and research/development of production technologies such as NERICA (New Rice for Africa), and strengthening of community organizations. Assistance will be provided to foster economic activities in rural areas, such as processing of agricultural products, development of market distribution and sale of foodstuffs.
In addition, basic infrastructure such as transport, energy and communications will be provided to link urban and rural areas where regional disparities exist. In providing such assistance, attention will be paid to ensure that infrastructure helps the poor to participate in economic and social activities by, for example, connecting feeder roads to national roads.

(2) Sustainable Growth
i. Japan's Position on Sustainable Growth
(b) As a country that receives benefits from international trade and that is heavily dependent on other countries for resources, energy and food, Japan will actively contribute to the sustainable growth of developing countries through ODA. This is highly relevant for ensuring Japan's security and prosperity, thus promoting the interests of the Japanese people.

(3) Addressing Global Issues
Global issues such as global warming and other environmental problems, infectious diseases, population, food, energy, natural disasters, terrorism, drugs and international organized crime pose a threat to humanity around the world, irrespective of national borders. In order to achieve the stability and prosperity of the international community, Japan will play an active part in addressing these issues by using its ODA. Of these issues, the Medium-Term Policy will focus particularly on environmental problems that are inextricably and comprehensively related to reducing poverty and achieving sustainable growth. The Medium-Term Policy also addresses measures against natural disasters such as earthquakes and tsunamis in view of the disaster caused by the major earthquake off the coast of Sumatra and the tsunami in the Indian Ocean that occurred in December 2004.

- Initiatives & Funding Commitment

Japan's Initiative for Africa (Japanese (PDF, 76KB))

Japan's Action for NERICA
  - Overview (Japanese (PDF, 88KB) / English (PDF, 374KB))
  - Nations Promoting Dissemination of Nerica (English (PDF, 28KB))

Good Practices on Agriculture and Rural Development

Japan's Support Though Its Experience and Knowledge

Japan provided technical assistance to support farmer’s involvement in the participatory water management organizations and capacity development in the paddy field zones in Thailand, Cambodia, and other countries in the Asian monsoon region. Japan contributed to sustain agriculture and rural development there, building on its knowledge and experience on the farmer-participatory water management organizations (Land Improvement District System). In Thailand, farmers' water management organizations have already been organized with Japan's assistance. Farmers have begun to take charge of their own water management and made efforts to use this resource efficiently.


The notice board of the flow period

The meeting of farmers for establishing an irrigation association

(photo from JICA)

- Cooperation with Multilateral Organizations

Case: Cooperation with United Nations World Food Program (WFP)
In order to promote the resettlement of the refugees who came back to Liberia, and settlement of IDPs from March to August 2004, World Vision Japan (WVJ) has provided foods and agricultural implements, and directed farming techniques. They are supported by Japan Platform, who sent seeds of cassava and agricultural implements, and by WFP, which cooperates with Japan and other bodies, in the implementation of the project. In over 6 months, more than 15,000 households or 75,000 people have received food as a result of Japan’s support. The emphasis on cultivation enabled the recipients to move towards self-sufficiency. Until May 2006, WVJ implemented "WFP's Food For Work", where labourers are provided food in return for constructing infrastructure such as toilets, and wells and repairing roads. This programme is a key driver of reconstruction and, as a result of the participatory approach, helped further develop a sense of community.

CGIAR
  - Summary (Japanese (PDF, 119KB))

IFAD
  - Summary (Japanese (PDF, 109KB))

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Photo from Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) Handbook (MOFA, 2005)


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