The Agriculture, Forestry, Fisheries and Food Business Unit (AFFF Unit) has supported developing countries efforts to establish sustainable and effective finance systems for poverty alleviation ,rural and agricultural development,and a stable food supply, utilizing its experience for agricultural development. The AFFF Unit accepts many trainees in the fields of agriculture and finance through cooperation with JICA and the Ministry of Finance. The AFFF Unit has remained an active member of Asia Pacific Rural and agricultural Credit Association(APRACA) Since 1991. The AFFF Unit has also maintained close cooperation with the Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC).
Figures in Asian and African agricultural finance inspect advanced agriculture activities in Hiroshima Prefecture
Over eight days from February 13 to 20, 2014, JFC accepted a total of 12 trainees comprising figures involved in agricultural finance at institutions in Iran, India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Philippines, which are affiliated with the Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA), as well as a Tanzanian government official.
JFC began the training program with presentations on an overview of agriculture and agricultural finance in Japan, operations of JFC, and agricultural restoration initiatives that took place following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
The trainees subsequently travelled to Hiroshima Prefecture where they visited HIRATA Tourist Farm, Tom Milk Farm, KAMOIZUMI SHUZOU & CO., LTD., SATAKE CORPORATION, and JA Hiroshimashi, among other sites. Finally, on the last day of the training program, they travelled to Osaka to visit the AGRI-FOOD EXPO Osaka.
Ms. Shayne L. Rios participating from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) spoke of her commitment to put the fruits of the training to good use in helping her country recover from the damage caused by the typhoon that struck in November 2013, saying, "Values of humility, hard work and unity--I was able to learn why the Japanese people are very successful despite the calamities and other tragedies they have faced."
We would like to thank all those who cooperated in making the training program such a success.
Team led by Myanmar's Minister of Cooperatives visits JFC
On October 29, 2013, JFC received a team of visitors from Myanmar, including H.E. U Kyaw Hsan, Union Minister of the Ministry of Cooperatives and U Khin Maung Aye, Chairman of the Cooperatives Bank. JFC gave a presentation on agricultural finance in Japan and JFC's own initiatives. After exchanging views, the visitors were given a courtesy welcome by Governor and CEO Mr. Koichi Hosokawa and Deputy Governor Mr. Hiromi Minagawa.
In Myanmar, diverse cooperatives exist across diverse areas including the agriculture and food industry, which provide loans and technical guidance. The minister expressed his desire to adapt what he learned from JFC to the situation in Myanmar and to cooperate with JFC in the field of agricultural finance.
Agricultural finance directors from Thailand and the Philippines visit disaster-afflicted regions
From August 22 to 28, 2013, JFC accepted eight trainees involved in agricultural finance at institutions in Thailand and the Philippines, which are affiliated with the Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA).
Massive flooding occurred in Thailand in November 2011 as well as in the Philippines in August 2013 immediately before the training program. Taking preparatory measures against such natural disasters and implementing recovery and reconstruction initiatives are issues of common concern among all countries.
After receiving training in Tokyo, the trainees travelled to Miyagi Prefecture, where they visited Ichinokura Co., Ltd., Juridical Agricultural Union Sendai East Country, Butai Farm Co., Ltd., Igunal Farm Co., Ltd., and Miyagi Fisheries Cooperative to learn about their agricultural and fisheries restoration initiatives following the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Upon completing the training program, Mr. Crispino T. Aguelo, Director of the Land Bank of the Philippines, expressed his aspiration to put the fruits of the training to good use in implementing financial initiatives upon returning home, saying: "I realized that Japan's speedy recovery from such a devastating disaster is attributable to collaborative efforts between the public and private sectors in wide-ranging arenas. I have learned that nothing is impossible if we can do the same back home." We would like to thank all those who cooperated in making the training program such a success.
Director General of Taiwan's Bureau of Agricultural Finance, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, visits JFC
On July 23, 2013, Mr. Austin Chan, Director General of Taiwan's Bureau of Agricultural Finance, Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, visited JFC, along with others, including Mr. Raymond Chen, Director of Taiwan Trade Center, Tokyo.
The Council of Agriculture, Executive Yuan, is the Taiwanese equivalent of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries of Japan.
After receiving a courtesy welcome by Mr. Yasushi Yamazaki, Executive Director of JFC, the visitors were given a presentation on the roles of agricultural finance in Japan and JFC and opinions were exchanged.
Director General Mr. Austin Chan enthusiastically asked questions concerning JFC's financing mechanism and loan system as well as about the recovery support it provided after the Great East Japan Earthquake.
Myanmar's Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation and colleagues visit JFC
On May 22 2013 Myanmar's Minister of Agriculture and Irrigation, H.E. U Myint Hlaing, and four others from the ministry with the post of Director General visited JFC.
After being welcomed by Mr. Shosaku Yasui, Governor and CEO of JFC, and Deputy Governor Mr. Koichi Hosokawa, the visitors were given an explanation of JFC's initiatives in agriculture, forestry and fisheries, and then an exchange of opinions took place.
Although there is also an organization in Myanmar that focuses on agriculture, it is based mainly on short-term operational funding, and the Myanmar's delegation said: "We hope to positively incorporate the knowledge and experience of JFC regarding long-term capital investment."
Secretary-General of APRACA visits JFC
On April 17, 2013, Mr. Won-sik Noh, the Secretary-General of the Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) visited JFC, and was given a courtesy welcome by Mr. Wataru Miyasaka, Senior Managing Director of JFC.
During his stay in Japan he visited Ichigonosato Yumoto Farm Ltd., a strawberry grower in Tochigi Prefecture, and saw the company's value chain management initiatives including strawberry picking opportunities for the public, and the restaurant using vegetables from the tourists' farm and local producers.
Mr. Noh expressed his gratitude, saying: "I was able to deepen the mutual understanding and cooperation between APRACA and JFC through this very fruitful visit."
Figures in Asian and African agricultural finance inspect advanced agriculture activities in Hyogo Prefecture
Over an eight-day period from February 14, 2013 to February 21, 2013, eighteen trainees involved in agricultural finance were accepted from the nations of India, Sri Lanka, Philippines, Laos, Uganda, Kenya and Nigeria, which are affiliated to the Asia Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) and the African Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (AFRACA). They also included government officials from Tanzania.
The trainees first of all listened to lectures giving an outline of Japanese agriculture and agricultural finance, operations of JFC, and the Japanese agricultural cooperatives, then visited the famous Tsukiji fish market.
Later on the trainees traveled to Hyogo Prefecture in order to gain a deeper understanding of agricultural sites, visiting Yumesakiyume Koubou Ltd., Laitiére Yuge Ltd., Smile Farm Fujimoto, JA Hyogo Rokko, and the Kobe Coop. On the last day of the training, they also visited the AGRI-FOOD EXPO Osaka.
Mr. Saleh Usman Gashua, the Secretary-General of AFRACA, who had travelled from Kenya to take part said: "It is our hope that one day as a result of this visit, poverty and food security challenges will be history in Africa. To make that happen we should continue to work towards strengthening our friendship and partnership beyond just this visit," expressing his determination to put the fruits of the training to good use in policy recommendations after returning home.
We would like to thank all those who cooperated in making the training event such a success.
Team including President of Thailand's Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives visit JFC
On October 10, 2012, Mr. Luck Wajananawat, President of the Bank for Agriculture and Agricultural Cooperatives (BAAC) and a team of its senior officials were given a courtesy welcome by Mr. Shosaku Yasui, Governor and CEO. BAAC is the Thai government's agricultural policy and financing organization.
The team made a two-day stay until October 11, and in addition to listening to lectures about the work of JFC they went on inspection visits to a cut vegetables plant in Tokyo and a winery in Yamanashi Prefecture, with which they have business relations.
We would like to thank all those who cooperated in making the trip a success.
A delegation from ADBC visited a farm in Hokkaido
From September 4th to the 9th, 2012, the AFFF Unit accepted a delegation from Agricultural Development Bank of China (ADBC), a state-owned agricultural policy bank.
Firstly, at the head office of JFC in Tokyo, the delegation had a briefing on an overview of agriculture and agricultural finance in Japan, operations of JFC, and its response to the Great East Japan Earthquake. Then, they visited the head office of Asahi Group Holdings, Ltd. and received an explanation on its business in China. The delegation especially showed considerable interest to its agriculture related business in Shandong Province.
They also made a visit to Lake Hill Farm in Toyako town, Hokkaido, in order to deepen their understandings on site. They observed a case example of "sixth industrialization" of agriculture implemented by the company such as quality milk production utilizing high level of technology, selling of gelato made of freshly drawn cow's milk, and operation of a restaurant which provides vegetables grown in its ranch.
We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation again for everyone who cooperated in the success of this tour of delegation.
APRACA trainees observed agriculture in Kyoto and Shiga prefectures
From February 8th to 15th, 2012, the AFFF Unit received twelve trainees from member organizations of The Asia-Pacific Rural and Agricultural Credit Association (APRACA) and Tanzania government.
In this training, the trainees first attended a lecture at the head office of JFC in Otemachi, Tokyo, and learned about an overview of agriculture and agricultural finance in Japan, operations of JFC, and its response to the Great East Japan Earthquake.
They also visited Kyoto and Shiga prefectures to deepen their understandings on site. The visit includes Koto Kyoto Co. Ltd. (production and processing of Kujo-negi onion), Marukyu Koyamaen Co.，Ltd. (production and selling of green tea), Ikeda Farm (dairy and selling of milk products), JA (Japan Agricultural Cooperatives) Green Omi Dainakanoko branch, and Hinogawa-ryuiki land improvement district. They also made a visit to AGRI-FOOD EXPO Osaka on the final day.
What impressed the trainees were Japanese technologies, quality of agricultural products, and loyalty to them. One of the trainees from India commented, "I held an image that Japanese agriculture was declining, but through this training, I realized that it is actually a growing industry which holds great potential". The trainee also showed enthusiasm for making use of this training in policy proposals after returning to the home country.
We would like to express our gratitude and appreciation again for everyone who cooperated in the success of this training.