9 Years On: Fukushima Taps Info Tech for Farming Revival

Politics

Fukushima, March 8 (Jiji Press)--Fukushima Prefecture is developing labor-saving farming techniques by utilizing information technology with cooperation from the corporate and academic sectors, aiming to revive farming in former nuclear evacuation zones.

Evacuation zones were designated in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear accident triggered by the March 11, 2011, massive earthquake and tsunami, leading to sharp falls in the farming population in affected areas.

In areas where the designation has been removed, some farmers are now using IT equipment such as a system to monitor cattle remotely and a new unmanned tractor.

The national government is pinning hopes on the farming initiative in Fukushima, at a time when Japan's farming sector is struggling to keep labor against the backdrop of the country's graying population.

In the Fukushima village of Iitate, "wagyu" beef cattle farmer Ichiro Sato, 58, introduced at his farm IT devices leased from the prefectural government for a demonstration experiment in June 2018, after the central government partially lifted its evacuation order for the village in March 2017.

[Copyright The Jiji Press, Ltd.]

Jiji Press