2022 Activity Report vol.4:Hiroshima University

Activity Report of Open Application Program 2022 vol.4 (Course A)

Environmental friendly agriculture and regional development on the islands of the Seto Inland Sea

Report from Hiroshima University

 The TAOYAKA Program for creating a peaceful and co−existing society conducted a joint training program with The University of Texas at Austin (USA), Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani (India), and Tribhuvan University (Nepal) on "Agriculture of environmental conservation type and regional development in the Islands in Seto Inland Sea area" from August 22 2022 to August 28 2022. Due to the impact of the spread of COVID−19, the training was held online, but it was the first in−person joint training in three years. The following were the number of participants to joint training; three students from the University of Texas at Austin, four from Birla Institute of Technology and Science Pilani Campus, four from Tribhuvan University, and one from TAOYAKA Program.

 In the training, participants attended a lecture on the conservation of natural resources, agriculture promotion, and tourism promotion by practitioners from Higashi−Hiroshima City, Kure City, and the Ministry of the Environment and learned in detail the efforts of local communities in Japan. In addition, the participants visited two organic farms ( Yoakeno Johnny Farm and Sichisan Farm) in Shiwa−cho, Higashi−Hiroshima City in order to learn about agriculture of environmental conservation type for on−site training and they learned about the procurement of fertilizer, feed, and raw materials, as well as local production for local consumption, and the production of organic vegetables. The students asked questions from various perspectives, such as how to make organic fertilizers and how to develop sales channels. At times, they asked interesting questions for the local people about the differences between agriculture in their own country and they interacted lively.

Activity Report Photo 1
The lecture being presented
Activity Report Photo 2
Visit to an organic farm

 In the latter half of the training, participants planned to visit farms on the island, but in response to the increase in the number of people infected with COVID−19 in Hiroshima Prefecture, they visited farms in online, as well as exchanged opinions and interacted with local people. During the online visit to Sugawara Orange Farm and Mini Goat Farm, they learned about the unique agriculture that makes use of the natural environment of the islands. In addition, they exchanged opinions with residents who have moved to Shimokamagari Island and Osakishimojima Island about the charm and challenges of the Setouchi region. They actively exchanged opinions on issues related to the sustainability of the community, such as the declining population and aging population and depopulation in Japan that is one of the most advanced countries in the world. On the sixth day of the training, as a cultural experience, they visited Hiroshima City, where the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum and the Atomic Bomb Dome are located, and learned about the peace and reconstruction of Hiroshima.

Activity Report Photo 3
An online broadcast of the visit to the farm

 While some of the onsite training programs were changed to online visits, the students gathered from four countries worked together in groups and discussed actively across nationality and specialized fields about measures to build a sustainable local community, working together across national and specialized fields. In the group work presentation on the final day, students made presentations on measures to enhance the sustainability of the region using natural resources, regional characteristics, and science and technology.

Activity Report Photo 4
A commemorative photo after final presentation