Advanced Research Base and four pillars of research "Research Segments"

Advanced Research Base

In order to realize the digital transformation and the reinforcement of research capacities of the agriculture and food industries toward the deepening and penetration of Society 5.0, NARO has set up Core Technology Research Headquarters (CTRH) directly under the president to strengthen basic technologies such as AI, robotics, and advanced analysis technology and to establish a common base for data and genetic resources.

(1) Research Center for Agricultural Information Technology
(2) Research Center for Agricultural Robotics
(3) Research Center of Genetic Resources
(4) Research Center for Advanced Analysis

Research Segments

Segment I Agri-Food Business
In Japan, which is a super-aging society, there is a high demand for R&D that addresses the changing needs for food due to the growing awareness of healthy longevity among the nation and the increase in single households. NARO needs to work to on creating new food that is delicious and healthy, smartizing the food value chain using AI and data, securing food safety and reliability, and connecting production, processing, and distribution of livestock products and animal hygiene to expand the market and strengthen the business competitiveness of the agriculture and food industries.

(1) Institute of Food Research
(2) Institute of Livestock and Grassland Science
(3) National Institute of Animal Health

Segment II Smart Production Systems
As the population ages and the agricultural workforce declines, stable supply of food to the public and improvement of food self-sufficiency have become important issues. Due to the increase in the number of fields and the diversification of cropping patterns (varieties and cropping seasons), it is becoming difficult to carry out operations within the appropriate time and to manage cultivation accurately. Although the scale of operations is expanding, in some cases, it does not lead to improved profitability. In order to dramatically improve productivity and increase farmers' profits, NARO strives to develop smart technologies, such as AI, data, and robotics, as well as to construct new production systems for each region, with the core of cropping optimization technologies. NARO will also contribute to the revitalization of local economies by establishing a new production system through inter-management collaboration for the production, processing, and sales based on the concept of market-in.

(1) Hokkaido Agricultural Research Center
(2) Tohoku Agricultural Research Center
(3) Central Region Agricultural Research Center (Kanto, Tokai and Hokuriku Regions)
(4) Western Region Agricultural Research Center (Kinki, Chugoku and Shikoku Regions)
(5) Kyushu-Okinawa Agricultural Research Center
(6) Institute of Agricultural Machinery

Segmental III AgriBio Systems
There is an urgent need to improve food self-sufficiency, to realize a bio-economy society, and to extend healthy life expectancy. To satisfy this need, NARO will elucidate important agricultural functions of agricultural products, insects, etc., and promote the construction of advanced bio-bases such as genome editing. Furthermore, by tackling difficult challenges and maximizing the utilization of biological functions, NARO will build an innovative substance production system and lead to the creation of a new bio-industry.

(1) Institute of Crop Science
(2) Institute of Fruit Tree and Tea Science
(3) Institute of Vegetable and Floriculture Science
(4) Institute of Agrobiological Sciences

Segment IV Robust Agricultural Systems
Agricultural damage caused by climate change is increasing, including the frequency of heavy rains, the number of small rains and no rainfall days, the decrease in snow fallout, and the increase in transboundary pests. To cancel the loss from these damages, NARO will improve agricultural productivity by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture, preventing and mitigating natural disasters, and reducing crop damage caused by pests through realizing data-driven production environment management that makes full use of AI, etc. and digital transformation of agricultural infrastructure. NARO will also build an agricultural system that is resilient to global warming risks and contribute to environmental conservation at the same time.

(1) Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences
(2) Institute for Rural Engineering
(3) Institute for Plant Protection