|Fukushima's Agriculture and Fishery
Local rice farmers in the Kitakata area bring their unhulled rice to Kitakata's "Country Elevator". Here the husk is removed and the rice is dried before being shipped out as unpolished rice.
This cuts down on time-consuming tasks and allows each farmer to expand the scale of their farm management.
Kitakata's "Country Elevator"
The building was designed to resemble the many traditional granaries that can be found throughout Kitakata.
The Situation Today
Fukushima Prefecture's prominent, large-scale agricultural and fishery industries play
important roles as suppliers of food, not only to Tokyo but also to the nation.
The prefecture boasts Japan's fourth largest farmland area. Because of the favorable
climate, many of the agricultural products grown in Japan, including rice, are
produced in Fukushima. The prefecture ranks among the top producers of such
fruits as peaches, apples and pears and such vegetables as tomatoes and cucumbers,
as well as leaf tobacco and raw silk. Livestock farming is also active. Fukushima's
159 kilometer-long Pacific coastline is the site of the prefecture's vigorous fishing
and seafood processing industries and the area's haul of fish is among the nation's
The prefecture seeks to ensure the continuing productivity of its agricultural and
fishery industries while at the same time working to conserve the natural environment.
Although agriculture remains the prefecture's major industry, the number of people
engaged in full-time farming decreases each year. The rise in the number of elderly
farmers presents a serious problem, as does the increasing competition among agricultural producers.
In the fishing industry as well, the number of people engaged is on the decline as fishermen
face difficulties due to growing international restrictions on fishing and a rise in imported marine products.
To counteract these problems, the prefecture is striving to improve farming techniques in order to develop more high quality agricultural products.
It is also making efforts to grow new product by using such leading-edge technologies as biotechnology and to develop an advanced information system for agriculture.
In the fishing industry, the prefecture supports a shift from catching fish to cultivating them, to protect marine resources and strengthen the production system for marine products.
Prefectural Agriculture and Fishery by Region
Fukushima's agriculture and fishery industries differ according to region, because each of the prefecture's three
regions enioy distinct geographical and climatic features.
Located on the Pacific Coast, the Hama-dori region is the site of the prefecture's fishing and seafood processing industry. Most of the fishing is done offshore, while in certain areas shellfish,
salmon, and seaweed are cultivated.
Today, the region actively promotes resource control fishery, which emphasizes the incubation and cultivation of fish and shellfish.
Based in the northern part of the region, where the climate is suitable, Naka-dori's fruit-growers have become one of the nation's major fruit producers.
Vegetables are grown in the southern part of the region and, after the opening of Fukushima Airport makes direct links possible between producers and markets throughout the nation, farming in
the region should experience dynamic growth.
The fertile Aizu Basin is the prefecture's major granary. In the surrounding mountains, with their high altitude and cold climate, vegetables and flowers are cultivated.