A village of clear waters: Hassaku Orange in Shidehara

Shinichi Maeda
(Mima City / Hassaku Orange Farm)

Shidehara, in Mima City, is located along the Anabuki River, one of the clearest streams in Shikoku, and is known as a production area of the Hassaku orange.

The eight farmers of the "Shidehara Hassaku Orange Production Association," which is certified as Eco-Farmer, ship approximately 50 tons of Hassaku orange annually.

The Hassaku orange is grown by skilled farmers using reduced pesticides and organic fertilizers and has been exported to Europe for six years.

Mr. Shinichi Maeda is the head of the Shidehara Hassaku Orange Production Association.

Sericulture used to flourish in this area. Mr. Maeda's father started growing Hassaku orange in this area where there used to be mulberry fields.

He cultivates them using organic fertilizer known as "Kaya" on steep slopes instead of chemical fertilizers.

Hassaku orange are harvested by the end of December when the frost is stronger, stored to ripen, and shipped in February when they are ready to eat.

Every year, at the beginning of February, a fair is held at "Riverside Shide-no-Ie" to promote the Hassaku orange of Shidehara.

"The fresh sourness and moderate sweetness of the Hassaku orange" is so popular that customers from all over the Tokushima prefecture buy them, and they are sold out immediately.