Biodiversity / Food / Water

October 23, 2013


Kumamoto Prefecture Accelerating Integration of Farmland

Keywords: Food Local government 

Spurred by concern over an increase in unused farmland caused by the decline and aging of farmers, Kumamoto Prefecture in southern Japan started in June 2012 a project to accelerate the integration of farmland and thereby preserve it for future generations. Under a headquarters consisting of agricultural organizations and the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives, a team of 11 experts is working to promote negotiation and coordination of the integration process in 20 priority areas of the prefecture. The prefecture also established an original subsidy system to promote integration.

For the subsidy program, 127 million yen (about US$1.30 million) was budgeted by the prefecture in fiscal 2012. The program offers three kinds of subsidies: (1) a subsidy for supporting village activities, granted for the negotiation process in the priority areas; (2) a subsidy for farmers engaged in establishing farmland integration plans, according to the farm area managed by each farmer; and (3) a subsidy for completion of farmland integration, granting 20,000 yen (about US$204) per 10 ares (approx. 0.25 acres) for the selling or renting of farmland with an upper limit of 4 million yen (about US$40,816), or 15,000 yen (about US$153) per 10 ares for launching a local farm management organization with an upper limit of 6 million yen (about US$61,224).