Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center, NARO

Message from Director

dir On April 2018, I was appointed as Director-General of the Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center, NARO (KARC). I would like to take this opportunity and give a few remarks.

The after-effects of the devastating disasters in the Kyushu area caused by the Kumamoto earthquake in April 2016 and heavy rainfall in northern Kyushu in July 2017, are still deeply felt in various places. I would like to express my deep condolences and prayers for the souls who lost their lives and my sincere sympathy for the victims.

The Kyushu Okinawa area occupies an important position in domestic agriculture. Its agricultural output accounts for approximately 20% of the nationwide production next to the Kanto region, with 10% corresponding to rice, wheat and soybean production mainly in northern Kyushu, 30% (about 50% in the cultivated area) to sweet potato in southern Kyushu, 40% (about 45% in the case of breeding houses) to beef cattle, and 20% to vegetable production in the entire Kyushu region. Although Kyushu also faces such problems as the aging of farmers and drastic decrease in family business entities similar to other regions, organizational management bodies has recently increased vigorously exceeding the national average, the scale of paddy field business is expanding and crop rotation has been introduced in northern Kyushu, the scale of sweet potato and vegetable production for business has expanded in southern Kyushu, and improvement of feed production and domestic animal production within the region has been progressing gradually. In Okinawa, about 50% of the upland fields are used for cultivation of sugarcane which has strong resistance to typhoons and drought, hence there is high expectations for technologies that promote sustainable and stable production. Moreover, the Kyushu Okinawa area is most susceptible to the effects of global warming and is constantly facing issues such as decline in agricultural productivity due to extreme weather conditions and frequent occurrence of pest invasion due to climate change. Hence, it is necessary to develop enhanced adaptation measures to mitigate the impact of global warming.

In this existing scenario, KARC conducts the following research:
  1. Development of an expanded paddy field crop rotation system and greenhouse horticulture technology
  2. Development of regional division of labor production system for livestock and feed production
  3. Development of new marketable varieties suitable for the region
  4. Development of sustainable agricultural technologies to mitigate global warming etc.

In addition, with Kyushu Okinawa region as potential gateway to Asia, we are also promoting research focusing on exports and the development of technologies to support the sixth industrialization.

The ultimate goal of NARO's R&D is to contribute to society through the efficient utilization of developed varieties and technologies by producers and consumers. Hence, we gather the needs on-site and make research subjects to meet some needs. In addition, we also pursue empirical research on developed varieties and technologies, promote the introduction of new varieties and technologies by making improvements based on the feedback in the field, systematize the process and conduct management evaluation. We also provide technical guidance and disseminate information on-site to promote the efficient utilization of our research results.

The KARC is also expected to play a role as a hub function of regional agricultural research. We will further strengthen cooperation with producers, extension workers, public experimental research institutes, universities and private companies, while pursuing international collaboration on countermeasures on issues such as global warming etc. with the hope to accelerate the development of innovative technologies that will contribute to the development of agriculture and food industry in Kyushu Okinawa area in the future.

The KARC aims to be a research institution open to the community and to everyone. We appreciate and look forward to your continuous support and cooperation.

Masamichi DAIKOKU, PhD
Director General
Kyushu Okinawa Agricultural Research Center, NARO