The symposium was held on March 4, 2017, and was attended by approximately 100 local people.

People living in the mountainous areas of Nishi-Awa have developed a variety of wisdom and techniques for farming in the harsh environment of steep slopes. The purpose of the symposium was to discuss the geological and environmental factors that led to the establishment of farming in sloping lands and the adaptive technology that makes the most of soil characteristics. We also had a fresh look at the appeal of the "Nishi-Awa Slope Farming System.

Dr. Hiroshi Yamamoto and Dr. Yoichi Nakamoto, who have long been involved in research in sloping land agriculture in the Tsurugi Mountains, and Dr. Naoaki Izumi, who is a member of the community-reactivating cooperator squad in Tsurugi town and conducting research on sloping land agriculture, delivered lectures and participated in a panel discussion.

Dr. Yamamoto discussed the geological formations of Nishi-Awa and the nature of its soil. Dr. Nakamoto introduced the soil lifter machine, which he was involved in the development in Higashimiyoshi Town, and conducted light farming works in the sloping terrain. Dr. Izumi explained the soil and adaptation technology of the "Nishi-Awa steep slope agricultural system" in comparison with other places in the world. In the panel discussion, several questions were asked by participants, such as "Is Kaya effective on sloping soils?” and “Is it possible to introduce the soil lifting machine?”

 The symposium provided an opportunity to learn about the nature of the "Nishi-Awa steep slope agricultural system,” future possibilities of technology, and the development of this system.

Title:“Making the Most of Sloping Soils: Traditional Techniques and Possibilities”
Date:March 4, 2017
Venue:Agricultural Structure Improvement Center in Tsurugi
Sponsor:Tokushima Tsurugisan Global Agricultural Heritage Promotion Council Secretariat
Participation fee: free


< Part 1 >
13:30~13:40 Opening remarks: Kanenishi Shigeru (Mayor of Tsurugi Town)

13:40~13:50 Explaining the purpose of the symposium

13:50~14:10 Keynote Speech 1: ”Topography and Agricultural Use in Nishi-Awa”
by Dr. Hiroshi Yamamoto (Fellow, Western Region Agricultural Research Center, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (WARC/NARO))

14:10~14:30 Keynote speech 2: “Development of technology for making cultivation easier in sloping land agriculture”
by Dr. Youichi Nakamoto (Senior Researcher, The Western Region Agricultural Research Center, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization (WARC/NARO))

14:30~14:50 Keynote Speech 3: “Soil management techniques for sloping land farming systems: Significance of passing them on as GIAHS”
by Dr. Naoaki Izumi (Project Researcher in the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University and Member of the community-reactivating cooperator squad)

14:50~15:00 Coffee break

< Ppart 2 >
15:00~16:00 Panel discussion: “Utilizing the soil in the steep slope area: traditional techniques and possibilities”
Facilitator: Dr. Naoaki Izumi (Project Researcher at the Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies Kyoto University and Member of the community-reactivating cooperative squad).
Panelists: All lecturers, Hisashi Shinohara (officer in Tsurugi town), and Yukio Kojo ( farmer in Kiryu).