Name Farm Alliance Igunal Farm Co. Ltd.
GGN 4052852742276 Website http://www.igunalfarm.com/
Country Japan

Profile

The aftermath of the Tohoku earthquake on 11 March 2011 triggered major tsunami waves, which devastated the Northeast Japan coast area. The tsunami surged over harbors, our hometowns, and our farmlands. 21,476 hectares of farmland were flooded with the seawater, resulting in huge economic losses of more than 1.9 billion euros. Moreover, the tsunami took the precious lives of many people.

I am one of the victims of the tsunami. I lost my farmlands, and I lost my treasured families. Though I was too numb to cry, 3 friends of mine, who are also fellow young farmers, got together to help me out of my grief. In late December after the quake, we established a new farming corporation, named “Igunal Farm”. “Igunal” is a dialect of our hometown, which means “Everything will get better”. We gave it this name in the hopes that agriculture will become a symbol of our community’s reconstruction and resurrection. We want Igunal Farm to be a flagship of “hope” and “ future” for the people working together. We also aspire to establish a much better way of farming than one before the quake. Thanks to the support of the government and some private companies, we are currently producing cucumbers and other crops in greenhouses over an area of 1 hectare. Our farm is also expected to serve as a model case of earthquake disaster reconstruction for a local community.

Achievements

Social Significance of Igunal Farm  

As the livelihood of most of the growers was devastated by the disaster, they all lost the drive and vitality to get up and restart their farming businesses. We set our target for reconstruction–T o create a better farming business than the one we had before the quake. Our aim is to address the global de facto standard for agriculture. To make the reconstruction of our lives a successful one, we decided to take on the challenge and learn the way of farming that is recognized by the global standard, and make it a symbol for the recovery of the growers in our community. This commitment was shared by all the staff that joined Igunal farm, and was finally developed into the reconstruction of farming that has a link to the world.

We cannot fight back against the forces of nature. However, as one of the measures for reconstruction of our life, we introduced GLOBALG.A.P. because we believe that procedures required by GLOBALG.A.P. and its philosophy are effective in gaining the resilience and strength we need to achieve our full recovery.

The devastation and recovery we experienced are not a problem unique to us–this can happen in every part of the world in the future. We can explore various ways of recovering from natural disasters. The steps we are taking toward our recovery from this unprecedented disaster will serve as a model case for growers around the world affected by natural disasters. We believe that our case can be a guidepost for fellow farmers worldwide.

Farming Aspired by Young People

Japanese farming is currently suffering from a problem of ageing. The average age of Japanese farmers is close to 70, and the number of young people joining the farming sector is limited. If this situation continues, Japanese farming will not be sustainable due to a loss of successors.

In order to be part of the global market, the first thing we did was to make young farmers aware of the global standards for farming, as well as show them the business potential it has for them in the world. Although our effort is only one small step, we strongly believe that Japanese agriculture will make a giant leap. By making the leap from local to the global farming, we created employment for both the young people and the women in our community. We would like to show people that the farming is not only a way of sustaining our own families, but that it is an important pillar for our local economy and a key bridge to the rest of the world.