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Direct payments for environmentally friendly agriculture

In order to develop sustainable agriculture and demonstrate the multifunctional roles of agriculture, we support activities that are effective in protecting the environment such as preventing global warming and preserving biodiversity in conjunction with reducing environmental load derived from agriculture.
Effects on protecting the environment resulting from such activities are reviewed and evaluated by a third-party committee.

Eligibility

A group of farmers

A voluntary group formed by farmers or by farmers and locals such as residents

A farmer

A farmer (natural person or corporation) complies with any of the following requirements and is authorized by the municipality.

  • A farmer engaging in activities for direct payments in farmland larger than a set ratio of an area under cultivation in the local community
  • A farmer engaging in activities to expand environmentally friendly agriculture in cooperation with farmers aspiring to it
  • A corporation formed by farmers (excluding Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA))

In addition, the above-mentioned farmer needs to comply with the following requirements.

  • To produce main crops for sale
  • To implement Good Agricultural Practice(GAP)

Support activities

Activities effective in protecting the environment such as preventing global warming and preserving biodiversity in conjunction with reducing the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides by more than 50% from conventional farming practices in the region.

Examples of activities effective in preventing global warming

  • Applying compost: Apply compost before or after the period of cultivating main crop
  • Planting cover crop: Plant cover crop before or after the period of cultivating main crop
  • Living mulch: Interplant living mulch, such as wheat and grass, with main crop

Examples of activities effective in preserving biodiversity

  • Organic farming: Farming not using synthetic fertilizers or pesticides
  • Biotope: Providing habitat for aquatic organisms by filling some parts of paddy field with water
  • Winter flood control: Filling a paddy field with water in winter (secure a watering period of more than 2 months)

Granted amounts of payments

Common national activities

Figure3_Granted_amounts_of_payments.png
[1] Organic farmer shall introduce one of the following options and conduct soil tests: 1)applying compost, 2)planting cover crop, 3)living mulch, 4)sod culture.
[2] No-tillage farming refers to the activity in which the ridge lows of the previous crop are used and the seeds are sown by a non tillage seeder that cultivates only the part of the ridge lows to sow.
[3] Extending midseason drainage is the activity to dry the surface of a paddy field by draining water for more than 14 days in the middle of growing rice.
[4] Autumn plowing is the activity to plow a paddy field after harvest. Flooding the paddy field shall be done four months after plowing.


Regional activities

Activities and granted amounts of payments differ in accordance with prefectures.

Environment protection effects of activities

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (MAFF) surveyed effects of activities eligible for directpayments for environmentally friendly agriculture for the prevention of global warming and preservation of biodiversity. In August 2019, MAFF published the final evaluation of the direct payments system which was implemented from FY2015 to FY2019.

Effects on prevention of global warming

Effects on the prevention of global warming were surveyed, using the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization’s "Web-based Decision Support Tool for Agricultural Soil C Sequestration and GHGs Emission" or calculation formula. As a result, emissions of greenhouse gases, such as CO2 (carbon dioxide), CH4 (methane) and N2O (nitrogen monoxide), were found to have been cut by 143,393 tons of CO2 equivalent per year.

Figure: Survey results of effects on the prevention of global warmingFigure1.png


*Traditional tea-grass integrated system: Traditional agricultural techniques which keep grasslands maintained around a tea field to supply the field with mulch that improves the quality of tea cultivation.

Effects on the preservation of biodiversity

Effects on the preservation of biodiversity were surveyed, using the National Agriculture and Food Research Organization’s "Indicator Animals of Functional Agrobiodiversity: A Survey and Evaluation Manual". As a result, each activity was found to have been highly effective in preserving biodiversity.

Figure: Survey findings concerning effects of the preservation of biodiversity
Figure2.png

Graph1.png
Graph2.png

State of implementation

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