Title:Possibilities for Regional Developments in Indigenous Millets
Date:July 15, 2016
Venue:Higashi-Iya History and Folklore Museum
Sponsor:Tokushima Tsurugisan Global Agricultural Heritage Promotion Council Secretariat
Participation fee: free

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recognizes globally important agricultural systems through the Globally Important Agricultural Heritage System (GIAHS). People living in the mountainous areas of Nishi-Awa have incorporated a variety of wisdom and techniques to farming in the harsh environments of steep slopes. The land use supported by such indigenous wisdom and technology has contributed to beautiful rural landscapes and biodiversity. The purpose of this symposium was to discuss the possibilities and challenges of regional development using indigenous millets as a key item, in our efforts to have the Nishi-Awa region recognized as a globally important agricultural heritage site. Approximately 130 people from the local community attended the symposium.

At the symposium, Mr. Manabu Nakanishi (head of the secretariat, Japan Millet Association) and Mrs. Mika Yokozeki (the only millet creator in the Shikoku region) delivered lectures. Panel discussions were conducted thereafter.

Mr. Nakanishi provided basic knowledge about millets, the current situation surrounding indigenous millets, and examples of regional development efforts utilizing indigenous millets in each production area. Ms. Yokozeki gave a lecture on the current situation of millets in Tokushima and her efforts to promote them. In the panel discussion, the participants asked many questions to the five speakers, including the two lecturers. The other speakers were Mr. Sugihira, president of the Higashi-Iya Millet Producer Association, and Mr. Miyaji, Director of the Higashi-Iya Branch Office of Miyoshi City Hall. The Higashi-Iya Millet Producer Association was established in 2016. They spoke about their visions for the future of promoting indigenous millet production and cooperation with tourism.


< Part 1 >
Opening remarks: Shigeru Kanenishi (Mayor of Tsurugi town), Seiichi Kurokawa (Mayor of Miyoshi City)

13:45~14:15 Introduction to the symposium: Prof. Naoki Naito (Tokushima University Graduate School of Technology, Industrial and Social Science)

14:15~14:45 Keynote speech 1: The current situation surrounding indigenous millets in production areas”
by Manabu Nakanishi (head of the secretariat, Japan Millet Association)

14:45~15:05 Keynote speech 2: ”Millets in Tokushima: what I experience through my activities in local production area”
by Mika YOKOZEKI (Zakkoku Creator)

15:05~15:15 Coffee break

< Part 2 >
15:15~16:00 Panel discussion: “Community development utilizing indigenous millets”
Facilitator: Prof. Naoki Naito (Tokushima University Graduate School of Technology, Industrial and Social Science)
Panelists: All Lecturers of this symposium, Mr. Sugihira, and Mr. Miyaji