Price-Based Instruments; Environmental Outreach & Education
Subsidies, Grants & Incentive Payments; Technical Assistance; Public Awareness
Japan's Rural Development Program was introduced in 2007. It encourages community initiatives aimed at conserving the quality of common resources such as land and water, as well as improving the environment with a view to sustainable rural development. It has two tiers: the first tier supports community activities in which local farmers and non-farmers work together to conserve the quality of rural resources. The second supports environmentally friendly farming activities that reduce the application of chemical fertilizer and pesticide by more than half compared to conventional farming practice in the region. This program provides payments, trainings, and soil analysis to communities and farmers who participate. A fixed payment of JPY 100,000 is made to eligible communities.
By mid-2007, 17,065 community organizations participated in the program and the payments covered approximately a quarter of total farmland (1.1 million ha of land). Among these communities, 2,039 groups of farmers, cultivating 44,000 ha of land, joined the second tier program, which compensates for the additional cost of implementing environmentally friendly farming practices.
The Rural Development Program