On April 1, 2016, the National Institute of Agrobiological Sciences, National Institute for Agro-Environmental Sciences and Center for Seed and Seedlings was integrated into National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (NARO), and new NARO is formed.It has embarked on the 4th mid-term research program for FY2016 to FY2020. The new NARO is Japan's largest agricultural research and development organization consisting of headquarters at Tsukuba and twenty national internal organizations. It integrally implements fundamental, applied and practical research related to agriculture and food industry. Due to this corporate integration, our National Agricultural Research Center engaged in agricultural research and development for Western Region of Japan is named as the Western Region Agricultural Research Center, NARO (WARC/NARO).
In the organizational structure of the new NARO, the five regional agricultural research centers including WARC have been positioned as a front line in order to solve the problems faced the different regions in the production site. In order to integrate the NARO, the specialized research institutes in Tsukuba were reorganized into seven research institutes. Now they play an important role of the main unit to support the regional agricultural research.
The expectations to the new NARO are higher and NARO has been strongly demanded to promote integrated research aiming at solving problems in the production site. In addition, since WARC is expected to play the role as a hub of the regional agricultural research in western Japan, we will continue working with utmost efforts in order to meet the expectations.
With this corporate integration of WARC, the Office of Risk Management, the Department of Planning, and the Department of General Affairs have been newly established for strengthening compliance. In addition, in order to strengthen the social implementation of the research results, the Promotion Section of Industry-Academia Collaboration including a Coordinator for Industry-Academia Collaboration and two Communicators for Agricultural Technology have been newly established. To actively understand the research needs from the field, we decided to set up an advisory board consisting of farmers performing advanced farm management. In addition, the WARC has six Research Divisions such as "Division of Farming System Research", "Division of Lowland Crop Research", "Division of Agro-Environment Research", "Division of Regional Crop Research", "Division of Hillside Horticulture Research" and "Division of Japanese Black Cattle Production and Wildlife Management Research" with the 18 groups formed by bundling the research staff with a common expertise. Also, the name of the Center for the Research and Support was changed to the Technical Support Center.
The new NARO will conduct the research that are listed in the 4th medium and long-term planning approved by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. In the planning WARC focuses researches to address the problem such as
- Establishment of a systematized technique for the realization of large scale paddy farming system in the hilly and semi-mountainous area.
- Establishment of a systematized technique for the realization of labor-saving and high-profitable fruit production system in the hilly and semi-mountainous area.
- Establishment of a systematized technique for the realization of highly profitable horticultural system in hilly and semi-mountainous area.
- Establishment of a systematized technique for the realization of production system of Japanese Black Cattle utilizing local feed resources.
- Development of rice varieties for feed ,staple food,processing and commercial use in western Japan.
- Development of wheat varieties for bread, noodles and pasta.
- Development of soybean varieties and naked barley varieties corresponding to the needs of the actual demand and others.
- Development of a comprehensive wildlife harm countermeasure technology, which is friendly to the rural environment.
- Development of utilization technology for nutrition and health functionality of local special agricultural products.
WARC has been strongly demanded to promote field demonstration research which aims at solving agricultural problems in the Kinki, Chugoku and Shikoku area. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has started the research program for regional strategy which combined the individual research results in the practical stage and demonstrated in the field in response to the relevant policy outline of TPP. In the project, WARC has conducted the following two research projects as a representative institute with prefectural research institutions, agricultural producers and agencies in the private; "Establishing the smart Marudori technology system (a drip irrigation and liquid fertilization system with year-round plastic mulching) and demonstration of high quality citrus production technology system" and "Strategic expansion of Paddy Satoyama (managed woodlands or grasslands near human settlements) to support the Japanese Black Cattle production area". We are also committed to a comprehensive research of the field demonstration type for paddy farming system and horticultural system while aiming to acquire external funding.
WARC has to conduct not only empirical type comprehensive research, but also "seeds research" in the medium and long-term point of view which becomes the components of future comprehensive research, while aiming to acquire external funding. In addition, from the fact that WARC are expected to focus on promoting the agricultural research in the hilly and semi-mountainous area, cooperation with research forces and with the vision related to rural environment and biodiversity conservation, we would like to examine the draft of research issues that contribute to adding the value of the rural hilly and semi-mountainous area.
Our mission also includes early demonstration of the obtained results and steadily promoting the public relations besides the creation of the research results. Therefore, in this fiscal year, we will intensively work on dissemination of the following research results obtained in the third period (FY 23-27 FY) ; "Low-cost harvesting and silage making system for whole-crop rice silage with micro-cut shredding and jam-packed transport", "Simple soil moisture measuring system to determine the degree of dryness of the soil which indicates the sugar content of citrus ", "A new method of estimating daily air temperature data with 50-m horizontal resolution system", and "A bread wheat variety for Western Japan, "Setokirara" and the Japan's first durum wheat variety for pasta, "Setodur".
Thank you very much for your support till today, and to meet the expectations of everyone, we will do our best and look forward to your continued support and cooperation.