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Advanced agriculture begins at JA Miyagi Tome

  • Drone
  • Joint venture

JA Miyagi Tome Agricultural Cooperative
(JA Miyagi Tome)Chief of Rice Division, Farming Department: Mr. Takehito Abe

Kondo Nosan Co., Ltd.Representative Director: Mr. Mitsuru Kondo

Tome City, Miyagi Prefecture
Paddy rice
Pest control/analysis

Publication year: 2022

A collaboration between JA Miyagi Tome and a Sumitomo Corporation to create “new agriculture”

In rural Japan there has been a steady an increase in farmers announcing they will be quitting soon due to the increased workload as nearby farmers also quit and their land becoming unattended. This has the onflow affect of increasing amounts of abandoned farmland. There is now an urgent task of finding more resource to maintain larger areas of land and pass on the core knowledge including pest control and water level management.

In response to this, JA Miyagi Tome, Sumitomo Corporation, and Sumitomo Corporation Tohoku formed a 'Strategic Partnership' in advanced agricultural technology in August 2018. This included introducing the cutting-edge technology from Nileworks' agricultural drones. Drones were test-introduced by two farmers in 2018 and officially introduced in 2019, conducting collective pest control for approximately 400 hectares of “kamemushi”, more commonly known as the stink bugs in the JA Miyagi Tome area. Subsequently, in 2020 and 2021, pest control was carried out for approximately 1,100 hectares and 850 hectares, respectively.

Establishing the 'Smart Agriculture Center' in Tome to ensure the continuation of agriculture

Nileworks' drones are attractive for their ability to provide consistent precision in pest control regardless of the operator. However as the spraying area expands, it soon highlighted the need for large quantities of batteries to maintain efficient scales of economy for the operation. To reduce operating costs for full-scale drone implementation, JA Miyagi Tome, Sumitomo Corporation, and Sumitomo Corporation Tohoku collaborated in 2019 to establish a new 'Smart Agriculture Center Tome' facility for storing and charging batteries in Tome City. They established a sharing system, allowing drone users to minimise the number of batteries needed, enabling appropriate pest control according to the crop variety. Amidst a decrease in local stakeholders, they believe that concerted efforts throughout the community are crucial for sustaining farmland and continuing agriculture.

JA Miyagi Tome's goal: 'A locality where red dragonflies dance'

JA Miyagi Tome is known for and dedicated to cultivating environmentally friendly rice, reducing the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers to less than half of equivalent water paddy areas. They prioritize environmentally friendly rice cultivation that is conscious of consumers, producers, and the environment. They anticipate that with the improvement and practical application of Nileworks' data analysis technology, the quality and yield will stabilize, allowing for the continuous production of high-quality rice. The role of JA Miyagi Tome is to create an environment where rice can continue to be produced, introduce advanced technology, and achieve sustainable agriculture.

Utilizing drones for efficient farming at Kondo Nossan

Kondo Nossan aims for agriculture that balances producing delicious rice and earning a decent profit. They participated in the initiative between JA and General Trading Company' using Nileworks' drones. They considered the regional characteristics and circumstances of farmers, before making the decision to proceed. Previously, they conducted stink bug control using boom sprayers, but they found drones to be more efficient, with lower workloads and better cost-effectiveness for overall pest control when done in a timely manner. They continue to have high expectations for the initiatives of JA Miyagi Tome, Sumitomo Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation Tohoku, and Nileworks.

JA Miyagi Tome Agricultural Cooperative (JA Miyagi Tome)

Located in the northeastern part of Miyagi Prefecture, with the Kitakami River to the east and the Sako River flowing through the center, the area supports agriculture and livestock farming with its agricultural water. With fertile Tome soil, rice cultivation has been thriving, and they are working on environmentally friendly rice cultivation, having reduced the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers to less than half using drones. They practice 'circular agriculture,' utilizing straw as livestock feed and converting livestock excrement into compost to return to paddies.

Kondo Nossan Co., Ltd.

In a town blessed with the bounty of the land, they practice agriculture that is gentle to both people and nature, with a focus on producing on Miyagi rice "Hitomebore". This is rice that is delicious with a balanced combination of stickiness, gloss, umami, and aroma. They use both technology and honesty in their production methods to get these great results. They also process and sell products such as miso and mochi made from soybeans and glutinous rice and prioritize producing safe and secure products without using any food additives.
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