Business | Feb 27

Innovative "High-Density Planting" Doubles Efficiency

TOKYO, Feb 27 (News On Japan) - As part of the "Creating the Future from Here" project, TV Asahi is presenting SDGs initiatives on climate change. The theme for Monday's show is "Both Enjoyable Work and Economic Growth," covering an apple orchard that is challenging the future of agriculture with its innovative cultivation method.

Aomori Prefecture, which boasts the highest apple production in Japan.

Anchor Chiaaki Inaba: "A vast orchard spreads out here. They are challenging the new shape of Japanese agriculture."

What is being practiced in this orchard is "high-density planting."

The usual cultivation method involves spacing the trees and nurturing each tree to grow large.

On the other hand, high-density planting increases the number of trees by narrowing the spacing between them, leading to increased harvest.

The number of trees per area is more than 10 times that of the normal method.

The orderly arrangement makes pruning easier and reduces the time until harvest by half.

This cultivation method can be standardized, reducing labor and lowering production costs.

In Japan, over the past few decades, the cultivation area of apples has been decreasing due to the aging of farmers and a lack of successors, posing various challenges such as maintaining harvest volume and ensuring farmers' income.

To overcome this situation, companies have taken action (Japan Agriculture has established Japan Apple along with Farmind, operating a high-density planting orchard). The person in charge expects that "high-density planting" will be one of the solutions.

Japan Agriculture Co., Ltd., COO Akihito Kawai: "The average age of farmers is around 65 to 68 years old, and abandoned farmland is increasing at a rate of 1% per year. It is important for young farmers to expand their land and maintain production capacity as a producing area."

Although there is an initial investment to plant about 30 times the usual amount of seedlings, they are changing the shape of agriculture for the future by taking that risk.

They are challenging the production of apples that greatly increases the harvest volume based on Japan's past technologies and by further expanding the "export route," they are also fighting in overseas markets.

Kawai, who continues to take on such challenges, also said, "Reducing production costs will increase farmers' income, which will lead to the solution of the lack of successors."

This company is also adopting cultivation methods to increase harvest volume for sweet potatoes and grapes. It is also planned to further expand the apple orchard in the future.

Source: ANN

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