The Challenge of a Local Man (1)

The Challenge of a Local Man (1)

Jan 15 2022

Every end of the year, I volunteer to help harvest organic Mandarin oranges in Odawara City.  Since I take orders in my own hometown, many people around me think that the representative of the business, Mr. Yamato Oyamada, is a "Mandarin farmer," so I always explain to them that he is not just a farmer, but it is difficult to explain that.


It was after the Great East Japan Earthquake and the nuclear power plant accident in 2011 that Mr. Oyamada, now 41, started his non-profit.   He felt strongly that we needed to shift energy and create local communities.  Since then, he has learned natural farming, engaged in solar sharing (growing rice and vegetables on land under solar power generation), harvested and processed Mandarin oranges on abandoned land due to the aging of the population, and in 2021, opened a farmer's café using locally grown organic food and the alternatively-generated energy he has generated.


Mr. Oyamada's main job is as a certified administrative procedure specialist.  In his self-introduction, he says, "I am an administrative specialist who has been active in putting the community first, also focusing on agriculture.   He also provides consultation on procedures such as grant applications and conversion of agricultural land.

Many of Japan's rural areas are facing a variety of problems, such as aging populations, increasing numbers of abandoned farmlands and pesticide problems, economic decline, and the spread of vested interests.   Mr. Oyamada is confronting numerous difficulties, but he is determined to "never give up" and is carefully tackling each problem one by one.  As the project continues, it has been picked up by many media, and this season, representatives of political parties have visited the site one after another.

<To be continued>

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