What are farmers going to do?

Finding land, working a small plot or anything else countryside related
farmingnoob
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What are farmers going to do?

Post by farmingnoob »

As I was driving past all the fields looking at the old men tending to their fields, I wondered about what they are going to do in the near future.

A quick google search showed that the population of farmers is decreasing dramatically and the current average age is about 67. What are these farmers going to do in the next 5-10 years? Are they going to force their children to take over the farms? Retire and sell the land?

I hope that the solution to this problem is making it easier for hobbyists/part-timers to purchase real farmland. Am I being naive? What does everyone think?

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gonbechan
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Re: What are farmers going to do?

Post by gonbechan »

I think it is bloodywell about time they did away with the antiquated system and allowed normal people to buy farmland.

(don't get me started LOL)

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Zasso Nouka
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Re: What are farmers going to do?

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Well Abe-kun's hope was that big farming companies would take over the land an amalgamate it in larger plots that could be economically mechanised but like so many of his dreams so far it just hasn't happened. The younger generation seems totally uninterested in taking up the farming life preferring to live in shoebox sized apartments in concrete jungles, working seriously long hours for what seems like quite a low wage and then they end up spending half of that on rent and utilities and having little to no free time or time off work :doh:. I honestly don't get it, we were in Tokyo today and I just couldn't wait to leave, it was hot, muggy and the air smelled of engine exhaust and pollution, you could literally see a layer of brown smog in the air. Then we got home and it was 4 degrees cooler, the air smelled of trees and plants and the breeze was refreshing, the sky was full of stars and we can hear the frogs merily chirping away in the rice fields.

Whoops, sorry. That turned into a bit of a rant. Each year I see more and more rice paddies abandoned and becoming overgrown, we get asked to take over more fields in our village and it's probably the same elsewhere. You can already see those small villages up in the mountains are living on borrowed time as the population ages, in another 15 or 20 years most of them could easily become ghost towns if things carry on the same way. Gradually nature will reclaim the land and houses.

Probably for most of the farmers currently in their 70's they will give up farming over the next 10 or 15 years with no one to take over their land. For someone like me in their 50's it's just possible that technology will come to the rescue and some sort of mechanised assistance will become available. Every year at the farming expo robotic technology is getting better and better and the assistive technology to help with lifting and carrying heavy loads is coming on in leaps and bounds.

Will farming families be willing to sell their land ? Maybe but I wouldn't count on it. Will the zoning laws be overhauled ? Again, maybe but I wouldn't count on it. Will society make a 180 degree turnaround and youngsters flock back to the land ? :laughing-rofl: :laughing-rofl: :laughing-rofl: :laughing-rofl: No

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Re: What are farmers going to do?

Post by VanillaEssence »

It would be really nice if telework continued in some capacity after the pandemic. I’m very much in favour of the 4 day work week, but even if people were just able to work 2 days a week at home it would make living outside of big cities much more viable. If people could have a second house in the inaka it would be great for the whole society I reckon.

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Re: What are farmers going to do?

Post by Shizuman »

In my city the youngest farmer in the past 5 to 10 years is my mentor, he is 47 and he is the youngest by about 15 years. The barriers to entry into the agriculture industry are awful, its little wonder that nobody wants to do it, couple that with JA and the price for say rice, its rough. Change is glacially slow.
Im applying for a vacant farm right now and the nougyo inkai has been knocking everyone back in their applications apparently (Then again it might be because the place is in the same city as those Oum terrorist were, and they dont want any more) So its tough to break into the game.

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Re: What are farmers going to do?

Post by starting_the_dream »

In my area a lot of agriculture is done by U-Turns. It's keeping things stable for now, but who knows what it will look like in 20 yeas. I saw a talk by a guy who works for a city hall in Shimane Prefecture (寺本 英二) and he said that population in the countryside has been holding steady in recent years. The next wave will be a decrease in the cities and that will impact the tax revenue that is distributed to the countryside towns. He's really worried about that. He was featured on NHK's "The Professional" several years back. Really interesting talk.

https://www.nhk.or.jp/professional/2016/0926/index.html

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What are farmers going to do?

Post by bob_fossil »

Seriously. I couldn't be a farmer even if I wanted (and the idea is appealing) as I am "too old" to apprentice . . .

gonbechan wrote:
Tue Jun 23, 2020 5:34 pm
I think it is bloodywell about time they did away with the antiquated system and allowed normal people to buy farmland.

(don't get me started LOL)

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What are farmers going to do?

Post by Zasso Nouka »

Honestly age is no barrier, pretty soon Japan is going to have to get used to the idea of a different way of doing things in the agricultural sector.

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gonbechan
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What are farmers going to do?

Post by gonbechan »

Its really funny because i have been seeing a lot of articles about Hawaii wanting to emulate the amazing farming system of Japan.

https://www.newsbreak.com/news/21145162 ... production

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What are farmers going to do?

Post by VanillaEssence »

gonbechan wrote:
Sat Dec 12, 2020 11:35 pm
Its really funny because i have been seeing a lot of articles about Hawaii wanting to emulate the amazing farming system of Japan.

https://www.newsbreak.com/news/21145162 ... production
Sextuple the price of rice with this 1 weird trick!