20th NOUMINREN Youth Conference
We hereby declare that we will continue farming on Japanese soil. Japan has good soil and nature that suits agriculture. Our ancestors have lived in harmony with land and nature and have developed and passed on food culture and tradition in each region.
Today under the globalized economy and liberalist policies, Free Trade Agreements such as FTAs, TPP and genpatsu (nuclear power plants) have been promoted. Did those policies make our livelihood better? The amount of imported food and agricultural products has increased, and invaded our diet. On the other hand, because the youth leave the rural areas leaving only old people in the villages, many farms have been abandoned that eventually led to the destruction of many rural areas. The youth disappear from rural areas and the youth who go to the cities are now facing high competition and forced to work in poorer working condition. Unemployment and temporary work are also threatening their future. The accident of nuclear power plant has dispersed radioactivity all over the world contaminating farmland, food, and our life. In this situation the whole society is about to fall apart and the farmers whose livelihood are rooted on the earth must speak out to the city people who left the earth, and together propose a future.
Land cultivated by the farmers who love their earth means a lot to our future:
- Producing safe agricultural products and providing food that can sustain people’s life
- Through agroecological agriculture that is in harmony with nature, we will protect nature and biodiversity
- Protecting and passing on the culture and tradition that differs in each region
- Reuniting the society and the people through food
- Protecting local economy
The threat to our food is more serious after the nuclear power plant accident. In this situation, we, the farmers, must continue farming to recover local society and the food safety of Japan. At the same time, we will continue checking chemical residue and radioactive contamination of our products with NOUMINREN Food Research Laboratory to further ensure food safety with scientific data. Continuing farming is an initiative that will fix the wrong direction created by economically-centered thought, and to bring back human livelihood.
In order to realize the abovementioned objectives, we will continue our youth activities to unite with other youth farmers, and share information with the youth from other sectors. While the youth are moving out from rural areas to the cities, exchange activities that connect cities and rural areas will be vital. Through these activities, we will further strengthen sanchoku (direct sale) movement, and reconnect nature and society through local farming, and eventually connect the act “to eat” with Japanese farmland.
We hereby declare that we, the youth farmers, will continue farming and calling on society to establish food sovereignty.