A peer-reviewed research paper on new farmers “Agrarian pathways for the next generation of Japanese farmers” by Steven McGreevy (Project Leader), Mai Kobayashi (Project Researcher) and Keiko Tanaka (WG3 Member/University of Kentucky) was published in Canadian Journal of Development Studies (Sep 2018).
Japanese agriculture and rural communities are in decline and fewer young people are becoming farmers. Young heritage farmers and a new generation from non-farming families face multiple barriers to pursue farming as their profession or way of life. Using mixed methods, we examine cases of new farmers establishing themselves in Kyoto and Nagano, Japan. We uncover and analyse a set of representative pathways travelled by new farmers and the social and economic pitfalls they must navigate. The local community is found to play a critical role in the progression of farmers along pathways into agriculture.