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Prof. Dr. Mitsuyasu Yabe
Lab. of Environmental Economics
Dept. of Ag. & Resource Economics
Faculty of Agriculture
Kyushu University
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Phone: 81+(0)92-802-4838
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744 Motooka Nishi-ku,
Fukuoka 819-0395 Japan
00229292
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Excursion to Yame City JA and Japanese Tea Culture Center

On September 4th, students and faculty members of the Faculty of Agriculture at Kyushu University visited Yame City for an immersion of one of Fukuoka Prefecture's most prominent agricultural areas. The trip was organized by the Japanese Grant Aid for Human Resources Development Scholarship (JDS) in partnership with the Faculty of Agriculture and Yame City. Eleven JDS scholars and three graduate students from the Laboratory of Environmental Economics participated in the excursion with professors Hiroshi Yokogawa, Hisako Nomura, and Hiromi Maekawa from the Faculty of Agriculture. 

The field trip aimed to educate new and continuing students from the Faculty of Agriculture with model agricultural practices in Japan. Japan is a model in sustainable agriculture whose scope extends to a market network that promotes and foster community building and equity for small farmers. The Japan Agricultural Cooperative or JA is an association of agricultural cooperatives in Japan whose unique production model ensures the quality and distribution of agricultural products throughout the country.  Unlike in other countries where the majority of small farmers are marginalized and have limited access to equitable market participation, the Japanese government has successfully established a system where small farmers can sell their produce competitively and earn profits.

Yame City officials and representatives of the JA in the area gave the students a tour of the agricultural training center and processing facilities. At the time of visit, grapes are in season and workers at the processing facility are busy carefully packaging fruit into boxes for shipment all over Japan.  

In addition to fruit and vegetable production, Yame City is also a renowned producer of Yamecha, a highly prized aromatic Japanese green tea. Students visited the Japanese Tea Culture Center and had experienced sadou the traditional tea drinking ceremony.