Activity Report of Open Application Program 2022 vol.2 (Course C)
The training on hydroponic cultivation for young researchers of Bangladesh
The Faculty of Life and Environmental Science, Shimane University
Report from Prof. Toshiki Asao
From August 16 to 19, 2022, six researchers from Bangladesh were invited by JST Sakura Science Program to Shimane University for training on hydroponic cultivation.
This time it was the fourth "training on hydroponic cultivation for young researchers of Bangladesh" conducted at the Faculty of Life and Environmental Science in Shimane University. The invited researchers were from the Bangladesh Agricultural Research Institute (BARI), following the previous programs conducted in FY 2018 and 2019 and an online program due to the COVID−19 in FY 2021. This year's participants were researchers who participated in online program last year, and they were very interested to visit Japan.
Bangladesh is 2/5 the size of Japan and has a population of over 160 million. The country's main industries include the apparel and garment industries and agriculture. Japan imports good quality jute rope from Bangladesh, an environmentally friendly material. Bangladeshi farmers cultivated field crops with extensive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides with technical support from other countries, resulting in environmental pollution of the soil and pesticide residues in the agricultural produce causing human health problems. Therefore, we planned this training program to invite young Bangladeshi researchers to Japan to learn simplified hydroponic cultivation techniques, aiming to achieve safe food production and increase the income of poor farmers in Bangladesh.
Six researchers from BARI departed from Dhaka International Airport in Bangladesh in the afternoon of August 15 and arrived at Haneda International Airport in the early morning of August 16 via Bangkok, Thailand. From Haneda Airport, they took a long domestic flight to Yonago Airport, and then took a bus to Matsue City, Shimane Prefecture, where Shimane University is located. When they got off the bus, they did not look tired, but seemed to be looking forward to the training program that was about to begin. After checking in at the hotel, the first day of the training began.
On August 16, the first day of the training, a courtesy visit was made to the president of the university. The president gave a welcome message, and the representatives of the visiting researchers expressed their expectations for this program and the development of interactions with Japan in the future. This was followed by an introduction of Shimane University by student ambassadors and a tour of the Matsue campus (including the Shimane University Museum ASHIKARU and the university library). Then, they visited the national treasure, Matsue castle, a historical heritage of Japan. They were interested in the exhibits on each floor, such as armor and Japanese swords, as they climbed the steep stairs of the castle tower.
On the second day, August 17, training was held at Honjo General Farm. In the morning, the participants visited the research supported plant factory and greenhouses etc. to learn about advance hydroponic cultivation technology in Japan, as well as to see and hear about the research of hydroponic cultivation being conducted at Shimane University. Based on the results of past Sakura Science Programs, hydroponic cultivation is being advanced on a research level at several regional research station of BARI in Bangladesh. Therefore, they were very interested in the research and technology of hydroponic cultivation conducted at Shimane University. Among them, many questions were raised about the production of low potassium melons and the avoidance of autotoxicity appears in recycled hydroponics through electro−degradation equipment. In the afternoon, practical training was given on strawberry tissue culture, methods of analyzing plant material, and methods of preparing culture media.
On the third day, August 18, they visited the Shimane Agricultural Technology Center at Izumo City, where they toured asparagus, cherry tomatoes, and melon greenhouses and received explanations about experimental research. There were many questions on the experimental methods and outcomes from the researchers. As asparagus is not cultivated in Bangladesh, the staff of the Agricultural Technology Center kindly provided them with a tasting of asparagus, and they were pleased with its taste. They were also showed the fruit sorting machine while eating cherry tomatoes.
They had udon and tempura for lunch. Some researchers used chopsticks well.
After lunch, they visited Izumo Taisha Shrine and were surprised by the large Shimenawa. Then, they returned to Matsue City and headed to YUUSHIEN, a Japanese garden, Daikon Island. YUUSHIEN is a peony production area and has established techniques for flowering peonies. Using this technology, it exhibits buttons in bloom all year round. The day ended with photos in many places in the traditional Japanese garden.
On August 19, the fourth day, all training was completed at Honjo General Farm with practical training on analytical methods for culture medium. After that, each participant received a certificate of completion of the program. The participants expressed their gratitude and said they would make efforts to apply the knowledge they gained from this training to the development of Bangladesh agriculture after returning home. Some also said they wanted to continue interacting with Japan and to study in Japanese university for a longer period of time.
We completed this program wishing them all the best for their future endeavors and thinking how they will develop the hydroponic cultivation technology in Bangladesh to produce safe vegetables for improving the health of the Bangladeshi people and the income of farmers.
This is the fourth "training on hydroponic cultivation for young researchers in Bangladesh," and we would like to deepen interactions from the preparation stage to enhance the contents that lead to the development of the "Bangladeshi version of hydroponic cultivation". In addition to introducing hydroponics cultivation technology, they seek technological support and cooperation for the development of hydroponic cultivation in Bangladesh.