NARO Aims to Support Japan's Agriculture and Food Industry
The situation surrounding the agriculture and food industry is changing drastically. The new coronavirus pandemic exposed the vulnerability of the food chain and reaffirmed the importance of food security. In addition, there is an urgent need to address the shortage of workers, the decline of local communities, the frequent occurrence of natural disasters, and the progress of global warming. Looking at the world, the global food market is expected to grow along with the huge increase in human population, and we are now facing a huge business opportunity to expand exports of agricultural and food products.
I believe that the agriculture and food industry is a growth industry with huge potential, which will contribute to the economic growth of our country as well as promote regional revitalization. Also, greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, livestock, and land use reached 24% of the global total. Therefore, it is important to both increase productivity of agricultural and food products and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Since I assumed the position of President in April 2018, NARO have been committed to achieving (1) stable supply of agricultural products and food, and raising food self-sufficiency rate, (2) strengthening the global competitiveness of Japan's agriculture and food industry, and (3) improving agricultural productivity while conserving the global environment toward realizing "Society 5.0" in the agri-food sector.
We have also made improvements in R&D strategy, the practical application of research results, organizational collaboration, introduction of ICT such as AI, intellectual property and international standardization, public relations, and human resource development. For example, the integration of agricultural research and AI research, collaboration with private entities, and the dissemination of research results have been expanded.
From April 2021, we will accelerate research and development toward the realization of "Society 5.0" in the agriculture and food industry through the organization and management methods of our newly formulated 5th Medium- to Long-Term Plan. Specifically, we will carry out R&D under the four pillars of Agri food business, Smart production system, Agri-bio system, and Robust agricultural system.