*WUR: Wageningen University & Research (the Netherlands)
On Tuesday December 8, 2020, the international symposium "Research Initiatives toward Future Agriculture and Food Industry", jointly organized by NARO and WUR, was held online.
The aim of this online symposium was to propose challenging research strategies originating in Japan based on bold and unique ideas, and to promote the strengthening of NARO-WUR's cooperation in innovative research designed to balance improved productivity with regard to agricultural and livestock products and global environmental conservation in the livestock sector. There were 414 participants from 25 countries.
At the opening ceremony, Mr. Frederik VOSSENAAR, Special Envoy of the Government of the Netherlands and Professor Louise O. FRESCO, President of WUR, provided opening remarks and welcoming addresses, followed by two keynote speeches, "NARO's R & D Strategy toward Growth in the Agriculture and Food Industry" given by Dr. Kazuo KYUMA, President of NARO and "WUR Strategic Research" given by Professor Wouter HENDRIKS, Dean of Research, WUR.
In Part 1 "Balancing food production and environmental conservation on a global scale - Creating disruptive innovation by 2050", NARO gave five presentations on selected projects for the Moonshot Research & Development program. With these projects forming the core, NARO's challenges and prospects were disseminated to the world.
In Part 2 "Directions of future animal science research - Smart livestock farming that balances productivity improvement and environmental protection", there were 8 presentations from WUR and NARO (4 from each research institution) given in four parallel sessions (1. Insect-derived protein feed, 2. Greenhouse gas reduction by livestock excrement management, 3. Reduction of ruminant-derived greenhouse gases and improvement of animal productivity, and 4. Smart dairy farming with a view to animal welfare).
In addition to the introduction of the latest research results in the presentations, the following items were discussed.
- Utilization of insect protein as animal feed for controlling livestock welfare and food loss
- Application of a livestock excrement treatment system or compost producing robots, focusing on the differences between Japan and the Netherlands as regards the characteristics and management of the resource circulation system among livestock and cereal producers
- High interest in the use of feed additives common to Japan and the Netherlands
- Effective control of methane gas emissions by extending the lives of dairy cows
- Need for a mutual collaboration system among the sectors involved in the utilization of sensor collected data in the field of smart dairy farming including livestock welfare
- Research with sensor technology with a view to animal welfare