2018 Activity Report vol.21:Faculty Of Agriculture, Okayama University

Activity Report of Open Application Course vol.21

In Okayama, students learn advanced agricultural technologies which contribute to their local communities - We aspire after SDGs -

Report from Faculty Of Agriculture, Okayama University

Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are goals shared internationally to realize a sustainable world. To achieve such goals, Okayama University has been working on the various issues we face with all our effort. Therefore, we adopted the viewpoint of SDGs in this program.

Lecture on the 17 goals set by sustainable development goals (SDGs)

Eleven members (10 students and one faculty member) from Kasetsart University in Thailand were invited to this lecture. They learned about various technologies related to agricultural production, the global environment and geoscience.

At the Faculty of Agriculture, they participated in training in four different fields: Agricultural Chemistry, application of Plant Science, application of Zoological Science and Environmental Ecology. Agriculture in Thailand also has a problem similar to that of Japan, as people are becoming less involved in agriculture. In that sense, participation in the trainings, related to labor-saving technology using machines, in vitro production technologies of animals, efficient and effective agricultural production technologies, and use of microorganisms which have unique functions, etc., is a means of gaining valuable knowledge and experience for the participating students. And they gain important knowledge as well.

Observing a tomato harvesting robot at the Faculty of Agriculture, Okayama University
Getting explanations at the Faculty of Agriculture, Okayama University about microorganisms which have unique enzymes

They took a field trip to the Institute of Plant Science and Resources, Okayama University (Kurashiki City, Okayama Pref.), and the Institute of Planetary Materials (Misasa Cho, Tottori Pref.) to learn about cutting edge research and analysis techonologies, genetic resource control, formation and evolution of the planets, and the origin of life. In addition, they visited Hiroshima Peach Memorial Museum to learn “appropriate utilization of science and technology”, and 5-Days Children's Museum (Hiroshima City, Hiroshima Pref.) to learn “the mechanism of science” and get some experience. In Hiroshima, not only did they obtained some knowledge of “appropriate utilization of science and technology” and “the mechanism of science”, they seemed to understand about post-war reconstruction in Japan. Some students expressed their understanding of “the reason why Japan has become a nation of advanced techonologies”.

Observing the experiment using a super high-pressure generator at the Institute of Planetary Materials (Misasa Cho, Tottori Pref.) of Okayama University

We were trying to show them “sustainable and advanced agriculture” from the viewpoint of SDGs which is the theme of this program, but the SDGs are not well recognized in Thailand. SDGs should be addressed by all nations in the world, not only by developed countries. We hope that the knowledge and experience gained by the students through this program will be utilized in Thailand, and that the people in Thailand will become interested in SDGs.

In addition, in this program, we set up a time to explain about the graduate school program at Okayama University to urge them to study in Japan. Some students made friends with our faculty members, so we are hoping they will come back to Japan in the future.

Photo shoot with Kadota Dean of Faculty of Agriculture, at Okayama University

Finally, the participants arrived at Kansai International Airport on September 4, at the last safe minute before Typhoon No. 21 had descended on us, and started the program on time. Though we were worried about the return flight, the concerned parties did manage to secure their return flight, departing from Chubu International Airport, and they safely returned home on September 12. We would like to express our sincere gratitude to all people from JST for their support, from the preparation of the program to the program’s last day.