Dr.Teruo Higa’s
Living A Dream

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#66: The 17th National EM Technology Exchange Conference / Hokkaido Conference in Sapporo

The number of participants in the National EM Technology Exchange Conference, which began seventeen years ago in Atami, has doubled year by year, so from the third annual conference on we took turns holding it in eastern and western Japan, at the Pacifico Yokohama and at the International Conference Center in Kyoto. In order for this movement to spread throughout the country, from the 14th conference we have been holding it at different venues around Japan.

The catchphrases of this year’s conference, which focuses on the bonds of life that EM promotes, included  “Getting the Message Out Now. From the Far North to You” and “Let’s Make a Beautiful, Abundant Earth for Future Lives!”

The Conference was held on November 3rd at the Sapporo Convention Center’s main hall, with over 1,000 people in attendance. An EM market was also held and was a tremendous success. We received support from the Hokkaido Government and Sapporo City, as well as numerous cities, towns, and villages, and the mass media, and the scale of this event came to include all of Hokkaido.

 The conference case studies collection contained 67 case studies from all over Hokkaido, and serves as an encyclopedia of information on EM in Hokkaido. In the exchange meeting there were five extremely creative case studies presented. The case study on the use of EM in cities, towns, and villages reported on the present situation in Shinshinotsu village, which is a leader in JA (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives) in Hokkaido. Shinshinotsu village contains 5,160 ha of farmland, with no abandoned fields or rice paddies not under cultivation, there have been 21 JAS (Japanese Agricultural Standards) certified products, the majority of farms have seen greater success than so-called eco farms, and the village is in name and reality a model green agriculture area in Japan. This remarkable success can be attributed to the applied experiments and comprehensive analysis and evaluation carried out when EM was first introduced, and the way in which research prior to application and the creation of a distribution system were carried out simultaneously, which created a solid framework for cooperation between the village, the agricultural cooperative, and producers.

I gave lectures in Shinshinotsu village twice, once in 1994, when EM was introduced, and again in 2004, on the tenth anniversary. Use of EM quickly accelerated after this, with its application not confined to agriculture, but with practical applications also in the environment, in social welfare, and food processing. Shinshinotsu village is a model of agricultural promotion in cities, towns, and villages not only for Hokkaido but for all of Japan, and indicates a solution for trade liberalization now that TPP (the Trans-Pacific Partnership) will be implemented.

The second case study was a moving presentation by Ms. Mitsue Miyahara, who undertook a fresh start in farming in the coldest region of Japan, Horokanai town near  Asahikawa city. Temperatures there drop down below -30 degrees C in winter and climb to over +30 degrees in the summer, there is danger of frost until the middle of June, and the first frost of the season begins around September 20th. This is an area of heavy snowfall, with snow first falling in October, accumulating in November, with up to over two meters’ accumulation; it is a region of high humidity all year long, very unsuited for agriculture. Ms. Miyahara tried all sorts of concepts along with EM Technology, and was successful in raising soba buckwheat, pumpkins, potatoes, tomatoes, onions and other crops, and in independently running her farm.

Ms. Miyahara is a real pioneer, a true professional and her report demonstrates a solution not only for the problem of depopulated villages but gives specific, practical support to those engaged in brand new farming projects. It is hopeful and very encouraging news.

The third presentation was from Koizumi Ranch in Shibecha town, Kawakami county. The owner, Mr. Tsuneo Koizumi, has served for ten years as head of the Japan Dairy Youth Research League, and he is a top leader in dairy farming in Japan, having won the Minister’s Prize from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries, as well as the Japanese Agriculture Grand Prize.

This presentation was truly memorable in how it shows the impressive results this professional’s professional obtained through use of EM. In 2005, the year before he introduced EM, his 70 cows averaged 8,955 kg of milk per cow. In the following year this rose to over 9,000 kg, and in 2010 milk output reached 10,161 kg per cow.

This unprecedented record was due to the overall power of EM to maintain the farm animals’ health, to efficiently recycle waste material into pastures, to keep barns sanitary, and its use in silage. The farm not only increased the quantity of milk, but greatly improved its quality, and one can see in their success the ultimate application of EM in dairy farming. If these results spread further, not just in Hokkaido but throughout all of Japan, this will lead not only to a revolutionary transformation in dairy farming, but EM will also demonstrate its power to promote organic farming, clean rivers and oceans, revive ecology and increase natural resources.

Naturally this will be a great aid in responding to TPP, but beyond this I believe it will be possible to realize, in the near future, an ideal vision of dairy farming, one that uses no antibiotics or livestock drugs whatsoever.

The fourth presentation, entitled “Children and EM Applications,” by Mr. Masaki Takano of Asahikawa city, reported on successes in using EM in schools. This detailed and convincing report told how, when EM is introduced into schools, to help those involved understand EM better and commit to its use, how to obtain the understanding of teachers, the PTA and Board of Education, and also how to incorporate EM into the curriculum. If Mr. Takano’s methods and the steps he followed are put into practice, EM activities in schools should go very smoothly, which will make many people happy, help students in the future take on environmental issues, and contribute to an overall healthier lifestyle.

The final presentation was a report by Mr. Norimasa Katsumata, office manager of the Hokkaido branch of the EM Bokashi Network, on EM Bokashi activities by the Hokkaido branch. The report detailed the very advanced activities of this branch, including its own local training system, and its close ties with the community in order to promote local independence.

There were many examples given of developing cases in which JAS certification has been given, and in which parents have gotten involved. I have written details in my book A New Earth-Saving Revolution regarding use of EM in welfare activities, but since the use of EM in farmland is relatively easy in Hokkaido, Hokkaido is closest to realizing the ideal way of operating welfare facilities, and I have great hopes for future developments there.

The above are my simple comments on the five presentations. EM has taken root in Hokkaido and grown to the point where it will help determine its future. Behind this success lies the strong support we have received from the Hokkaido government, and the long-term, active support of the EM movement by Mr. Akio Fukuda, former Agricultural Administrative Director of the Hokkaido government.

The case studies collection compiled by the 2012 Hokkaido Conference is the highest quality EM collection of case studies, and I believe it should be distributed throughout Japan. Fortunately, the Hokkaido EM Promotion Association will be reprinting this collection of case studies to meet the needs of those involved in EM.
The case studies collection has everything necessary for those who wish to convince public institutions to use EM, and I recommend it be used by all those involved with EM.
 
Related article: Report on the 17th National EM Technology Exchange Conference Hokkaido Conference in Sapporo. “Let’s Make a Beautiful, Abundant Earth for Future Lives!” (Japanese only)
 
 
 
Over a thousand attendees filled the hall.


The crowded EM market sold farm products.


Exchange programs with urban residents are popular in Shinshinotsu village.


Ms. Miyahara’s home in Horokanai town


A barn in the Koizumi Ranch.


Mr. Takano making EM Bokashi with children.


People at a welfare institution enjoying making EM Bokashi.


Information on planned reprint of the 2012 case study collection: This will be available from EM Eco in Kitahiroshima city in Hokkaido (Tel 011-375-4234), from EM retailers throughout Japan, and from the EM Johoshitsu (EM information bureau.)
 
 
 
Courtesy of Ecopure

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