|Budget Amount *help
¥1,700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥1,700,000)
Fiscal Year 1998 : ¥700,000 (Direct Cost : ¥700,000)
Fiscal Year 1997 : ¥500,000 (Direct Cost : ¥500,000)
Fiscal Year 1996 : ¥500,000 (Direct Cost : ¥500,000)
Beef cattle farming is currently experiencing severe conditions owing to the liberalization of beef import, which had lead to a decrease of profitability in beef cattle farming, depopulation of farming areas--thus increase in the number of elderly workers-and reduction of farming productivity in general. A previous study by the author discussed the need for reforms to prevent further decline of beef cattle farming in mountainous areas. On account of such reform, the Japan Agricultural Cooperatives (JA), the local governments, and fanning organizations are currently implementing a various support systems.
This paper discusses the role of the rural farming system in the reform process of beef cattle farming. It first considers the problems of farming areas considering the trend in the number of cattle heads by farm and the farm size ; next examines the functions and forms of rural farming system at JA, local governments and producers' levels ; and finally examines the changes induced by the reforms according to the construction of the rural farming system.
The main findings are summarized in five points. First, recently the number of cattle heads is decreasing due the failure in the increase of the farm size as compared to the decrease in the number of farms. Second. through the building of rural farming systems. small size farms will be able to continue operating and large scale and leading farms able to establish. Third, supporting the construction of facilities for basic cattle farms to maintain cattle household farms, growing farm workers by area, efficiently using the available resources. lowering costs. and innovating farming technologies are necessary. Fourth, it is necessary to build a diversified system at the local governments, JA, and producers' levels. Fifth, that system has to be implemented by direct and indirect supports of cattle farming and coordination by farming area.