Dr.Teruo Higa’s
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#32 Results Starting to Be Seen at the Mikasa Project


As I have stated many times in the past, using existing, conventional systems to make EMTM a fundamental part of society will only end in lukewarm results. Thus it is critical to construct a system in which the functions of EMTM can be fully realized. One successful example of this from abroad that I have already introduced in this column is the throwing of one-million EMTM mud balls that took place in Penang province in Malaysia and how research institutes and municipalities there are promoting EMTM. Within Japan we’ve begun to see good results in Mikasa City in Hokkaido, the first EMTM Model Town promotion project.

Mikasa City received funding from the national government for a biomass promotion project, and recovers approximately 80% of the kitchen waste within the city, which is then treated with EMTM and turned into organic fertilizer; thus the city has seen excellent results in the measures it’s taking to reduce waste. However, only about 50% of this organic fertilizer made from kitchen waste is actually then used within Mikasa City, the rest being used in other regions where people are cognizant of the benefits of EMTM, so it is not a total recycling system. Farmers who have used EMTM organic fertilizer on an experimental have been pleased with the results, but their understanding of how, by applying EM technologyTM, it is possible to farm with no chemical fertilizers, no agrochemicals, and without tilling the land, is incomplete; all they have done is substitute EMTM organic fertilizer for chemical fertilizer in conventional farming methods, and have not fully implemented Activated EM・1®.

Three years ago I was able to inspect the facility in Mikasa that uses EMTM to convert kitchen waste to organic fertilizer, and I used the opportunity to gather officials from the city government, the agricultural committee, and the city council and conduct an EMTM seminar. There I told them that they should use make more efficient use of the kitchen waste organic fertilizer facility, EM-ize the entire city and revitalize the city. I promised them that if they seriously undertake this, the International Institute for EM Technology at Meio University and the EM Research Organization (EMRO) would aid them in the effort.

Through this process an agreement was drawn up between Mikasa City and Meio University and EMRO, and Mikasa City was designated the very first EMTM Model Town promotion project. As I explained last year, the three partners each have their own role in the project: the role of Mikasa City is to utilize EMTM in every aspect; Meio University’s role is to provide the most up-to-date information; while EMRO is to provide, free of charge for three years, as much Activated EM・1® as the city needed, as well as technical support. In addition, we agreed to hold a review session twice a year.
Last December 5th a review session was held to discuss agriculture. There are 120 farm families in Mikasa City, fifty of which are using EMTM organic fertilizer (kitchen waste bokashi). Last year, 20 of those 50 farm families also used Activated EM・1®, an excellent start for the inaugural year of the project.

The most Activated EM・1® that is provided on any given day is over 60 tons, 10 tons of which is used in sewage treatment. The special characteristic of the Mikasa City project is that farmers do not make their own Activated EM・1®; instead, EMRO is responsible for producing high quality Activated EM・1® and providing it to them. Since the effects of Activated EM・1® depend on the quality and amount used, in order not to have large variations, and since large farms have a short growing season and it is difficult for them to make large amounts of Activated EM・1® themselves, it’s important to have a lot of experience in order to deal with this.

Even in Unusual Weather Conditions—a Long Spell of Rain, Lack of Sunlight, and a Cool Summer--Results were the Same or Better, than an Average Year.

Last year Hokkaido experienced unusual weather conditions-- a long spell of rain, lack of sunlight, and a cool summer—that occur only once in thirty or fifty years, and there was a very rare decline in harvests of 15-30%, in some cases up to 50%.

Farmers who used EMTM were able to keep rice blast under control in rice fields and were able to harvest the same amount as a normal year, or even 1-2 bales more per 10 ares. Rice cultivation is based on autumn application, and since they got a late start, they weren’t able to conduct autumn application in the majority of fields. But still they were able to have such a good harvest resulted by applying, during the growing season, 600 liters of Activated EM・1® per 10 ares. In the case of rice cultivation, the initial goal was, including autumn application, to apply 1,000 liters of Activated EM・1® per 10 ares; when the soil changed into fermented-composite type soil, the plan was to reduce the amount to 300-500 liters.

In the case of onion cultivation, 200-300 kg of EMTM organic fertilizer was applied to each 10 ares, and at the same time, 100 liters of Activated EM・1®; afterwards a 1:50 dilution of Activated EM・1® was used as foliar spray 7-8 times, and we had the farmers spray as many times as possible. The result was about 5 tons yield per 10 ares, a normal harvest, while those who applied foliar spray 15-16 times had a very large harvest reaching some 7 tons per 10 ares.

Almost the same method that was used for onions was used when applying EMTM to grapes grown for wine. Those using normal cultivation methods had a terrible harvest, with numerous insect pests infesting the crop, thus lowering the sugar content; in areas where EMTM was used, however, they used no pesticides, and their results were equal to the best they had had previously. In green house cultivation of cucumbers, they had a 15-30% increase in yield, quality improved, and it was clear that if foliar spraying was carried out regularly, their farming could be nearly pesticide-free.

From the inauguration of this project, I have been emphasizing that if EMTM is diligently applied it is possible to not use any pesticides, and produce high yield, high quality, agricultural products that have a high functionality, and that they could distribute new products unlike any agricultural products seen before.

In the midst of this unexpected, once-in-30-to-50-year terrible situation of a long spell of rain, lack of sunlight, and a cool summer, farmers were thus able to harvest as much or more than in an average year. When we consider that the 20 farms that served as EMTM monitors were no exception, I can state with confidence that this is a very objective, replicable result. After such results with EMTM, no one in Mikasa City has doubts about EMTM anymore, and we are making preparations for greater use of EMTM next year.

Needless to say, with its strong antioxidant properties EM・1® suppresses the outbreak of harmful pests; at the same time, foliar application of EM・1® also works to markedly promote photosynthesis. Use of EMTM also activates the existing effective microorganisms in the soil, raising soil temperatures 2-4°C during cold periods, lowering plant temperatures 2-4°C during warm periods, plus suppressing excessive respiration. This comprehensive strength works as a mechanism to deal with abnormal weather conditions.

During the cold weather damage of 1993, EMTM brought about the same results we see this year in Mikasa City, but those involved in agriculture at the time put it down to mere good luck. Ever since then I have repeatedly emphasized that EMTM should be used in a comprehensive way as a counter-measure to overly cool summers in Hokkaido. But this was put into practice only at Shinshinotsu village, since famous for its use of EMTM. Last year farmers in Shinshinotsu village who steadily used EMTM had results similar to those in Mikasa City.
 
Mikasa City

Mikasa City in Hokkaido is an hour north of Sapporo, near Yubari City, and used to be a thriving mining town. It ranks near the top in the number of elderly and households on welfare, and the city budget is on the verge of bankruptcy. The city is surrounded by mountains, in the foothills of which are found not just the mines but fossils, including ammonites; with its mild climate, the city used to ship high quality vegetables to Sapporo. The population is 10,742, the number of households is 5,676.


F.A Recycling Center

Collecting kitchen waste

EMTM Bokashi (reduced organic fertilizer)

Scattering Activated EM・1

Cucumber cultivation

Onion cultivation

Pouring Activated EM・1® into rice fields

Courtesy of Ecopure

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