Institute for Rural Engineering, NARO

Message

First of all, thank you very much for visiting our website. From April 1, 2016, we started as a specialized research department and renamed as "Institute for Rural Engineering, NARO (abbreviated as NIRE)" in conjunction with the reorganization of the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO). Looking back at NIRE's beginnings, its predecessor the National Research Institute of Agricultural Engineering (NRIAE) was established under the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) in 1961, reorganized into the National Institute for Rural Engineering (NIRE) under the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) in 1981, and integrated into the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO) in 2006. With the integration into NARO, NIRE became in-charge of the domain related to rural areas conducting research to enable the preservation and maintenance of regional resources, and contribute to a balanced regional development. In the fourth mid-term plan from FY2016~2020, NIRE aims to strengthen and improve the functionality of the base of agricultural production, management of local resources, and countermeasure technology against damage caused by radiation fallout through: (1) development of agricultural production infrastructure technology to increase profitability in large-scale agriculture; (2) conservation and management of the facilities to strengthen rural areas and development of disaster prevention and mitigation technologies; and (3) conservation management of key local resources for agricultural production focusing on developing technology related to the advanced use of paddy fields and use of biomass, climate change measures connected with farmland and water resources, and advanced environmental control of agricultural facilities, among other efforts. In resolving these issues, we strive to conduct research in the fourth mid-term plan towards NARO's mission to maximize our R&D achievements to facilitate technology transfer, and in so doing, promoting cooperation with related government agencies, remaining in touch to the needs of rural areas, strengthening the PDCA cycle, nurturing excellent human resources, strategic allocation of resources, and industry-academia-government collaboration.

Moreover, NARO has been designated as a public institution based on the Basic Act on Disaster Control Measures, and NIRE is assigned to provide technical support for disaster countermeasures for irrigation and drainage facilities etc. It has been five years since Great East Japan Earthquake has occurred, and we would like to acknowledge the people involved in the recovery and reconstruction efforts. Within this 5-year period, we have provided technical support to 2000 people per day, and we will continue to contribute in the reconstruction effort such as the restoration of farmlands, agricultural dams, reservoirs and pipelines, and developing technology for decontaminating farmlands. In June 2013, the slogan "Japan is Back" has been approved by the cabinet to strengthen the international competitiveness of various fields such as agriculture, infrastructure exports etc. The revitalization strategy for "aggressive agriculture" has been set which aims to double the entire rural income of the export value in agricultural products and food in 10 years to 1 trillion yen. Needless to mention, innovation by science and technology is important for achieving the goal, deployment of high-productivity agriculture in large-scale and quality, improvement in means using ICT and robotics, strengthening the production site by the technology that contributes to the high-value-added products, combination of converged material and new market development by the sixth-order industrialization and expansion into overseas markets are some of the measures to promote "aggressive agriculture". In order to expand the agriculture to support the environment and new farmer, land conservation etc., if there is "defensive agriculture" we cannot achieve a good social and environmental balance.In recent years, abnormal weather disturbances such as heavy rainfall frequently occurs and damages in dams and waterways which support the production, are also increasing. It is important to develop countermeasures for these extreme environmental changes due global warming, large-scale preparation for large-scale disasters learned from the Great East Japan Earthquake, efficient maintenance of old infrastructure. If the stability of the infrastructure is not backed, an "aggressive agriculture" will not be achieved even if there is innovative technology that can overcome competitiveness. The NIRE will contribute in concerted efforts to securing a stable food supply that will significantly boost our response to an "aggressive agriculture".

On this site, you will find up-to-date information on our research results, scientific publications, cross-sector collaborations, contacts for technical inquiries, explanations of practical new technologies, as well as information on seminars, symposium and other events hosted by NIRE. We also issue a digital newsletter to promote communication with the general public. We hope to provide relevant information as we embark on various research initiatives to promote the revitalization of agriculture and rural areas.

Tokuji YAMAMOTO, PhD
Director-General
Institute for Rural Engineering, NARO

Corporate Number 7050005005207