Current efforts to realise smart agriculture in Japan

Date: 2020.07.10

The Government of Japan formulated “the Basic Plan for Food, Agriculture, and Rural Areas,” in March 2020 which shows the direction of measures with a vision for approximately the next 10 years.

This plan describes that the number of farmers in Japan is estimated to be 1.31 million in 2030 from 2.08 million in 2015 based on a recent trend.

Japan is experiencing a fully-fledged population-declining society. It is a concern that industrial competitiveness may decrease, and the viability of the local community may be in doubt. The industrial and societal transformation through digital technologies is an extremely important issue. The Government of Japan advocates “Society 5.0,” a concept of a human-centred and inclusive future society that realises both economic growth and resolution of societal challenges by sophisticated integration of cyberspace and physical space. As technologies for enhancing productivity such as drone and data using technology reach a practical stage, it is time for the government to promote their dissemination strongly also in the agricultural area.

Also, the Government of Japan developed a platform as a national project, where a wide range of agricultural data can be utilised, as a foundation to enable everyone involved in the field to cooperate. The platform “WAGRI,” has been in operation since April 2019. So far, ICT vendors and agricultural equipment manufactures develop a diverse array of systems, and there is a wide range of public data (e.g. farmland, climate, soil, fertiliser, pesticide, etc.) to be collected independently. WAGRI makes it possible to collaborate among these data and systems. It is expected that in this vein, a company can be encouraged to develop an ICT system and, therefore, create higher-quality services.

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