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Eco-Farmers Exceed 1,000 in Tokushima Prefecture

Last modified January 31, 2006 16:22

The number of farmers certified as "Eco-Farmers" - who practice environmentally friendly agriculture that employs fewer chemical fertilizers and other agrichemicals - has been increasing in Tokushima Prefecture. As of the end of October 2005, Eco-Farmers numbered 1,035, exceeding 1,000 in the six years since the certification system started in December 1999.

The number of farmers certified as "Eco-Farmers" - who practice environmentally friendly agriculture that employs fewer chemical fertilizers and other agrichemicals - has been increasing in Tokushima Prefecture. As of the end of October 2005, Eco-Farmers numbered 1,035, exceeding 1,000 in the six years since the certification system started in December 1999.

"Eco-Farmer" is the nickname given to farmers whose sustainable farming plans are certified by the prefectural governor, based on a law to promote the introduction of sustainable agricultural production system enacted in July 1999. Certified farmers can apply for preferential loans and tax breaks.

To be certified as an eco-farmer, he must 1) use compost, 2) reduce chemical fertilizer use and 3) reduce dependence on other agrichemicals. The number of certified eco-farmers nationwide exceeded 75,000 as of the end of March, 2005.

The prefecture set guidelines that call for a more-than-20 percent reduction in chemical fertilizer and agrichemical use for 82 kinds of farm products as of the end of February 2005. In response to consumers' concerns about food safety, various approaches are being put into practice around the country, such as working closely with farmers to enable them to obtain certification and reducing agrichemicals through the use of natural enemy insects.
From: Japan for Sustainability Newsletter

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