Oct. 31, 2016



  1. FY2015 ICA/Japan Training Course on Fostering Core Leaders of Agricultural Cooperatives
    Message from a Former Participant
  2. FY2016 JICA Training Course on “Development of Agricultural Cooperatives and Improvement of Management Capacity (A)”
    An Opportunity for Exchanges to Reach Out to Others



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Training for Nikkei Agricultural Cooperatives

In FY2016, IDACA will be conducting a train-ing course titled “Strengthening of Multi-Purpose Businesses of Nikkei* Agricultural Cooperatives and Establishment of Community Welfare Systems” from November through December, targeting agricultural cooperatives in Central and South America as JICA’s proposal-type training program.

While Japanese migration to Brazil first began in 1908, the Japanese Government aggressively promoted the migration of farmers in the 1960s as a national policy. As JA ZENCHU sent more than 2,500 people under its “Cotia Youth Immigration” program, and through the immense hardships and efforts of pioneer immigrants, there existed 90 Nikkei agricultural cooperatives in Brazil under the Cotia Central Union of Industrial Cooperatives and the South Brazil Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives during their heydays. In cooperation with JA ZENCHU, IDACA conducted Cotia Central Union of Industrial Cooperatives training from 1979 to 1992, accepting 82 participants. It has been reported that due to the successive dissolution of Cotia Central Union of Industrial Cooperatives and the South Brazil Central Union of Agricultural Cooperatives in 1994, many Japanese agricultural cooperatives fell into financial difficulties and faced a great ordeal. As a result, training for Nikkei agricultural cooperatives was also interrupted. Currently, there are more than 2.9 million Japanese immigrants in the entire world, including Latin American countries. They have been active in not only in the agricultural sector but also in various fields, and many Nikkei communities have been formed.

Currently, the numbers of Nikkei agricultural cooperatives in Central and South America are as follows: Argentina (3 agricultural cooperatives), Bolivia (2 agricultural cooperatives), Paraguay (6 agricultural cooperatives), and Brazil (60 agricultural cooperatives). Today, second- and third-generation immigrant farmers are taking on local agriculture.

While in recent years there has been a growing interest in such matters as advanced technologies in the agricultural and food industry sectors in Japan, there has emerged the issue of weakening of the organization of Nikkei agricultural cooperatives and the deterioration of their businesses due to such factors as generational changes among Nikkei people. In addition, in future management,efforts toward “exports” must be stepped up, and developing a system to enable “exporting” has become an urgent issue.

Meanwhile, amid a situation where the aging of first generation immigrants has progressed, with their average age reaching 80, and dealing with welfare services for the elderly has become a pressing need, it has been said that government services in the welfare and nursing care sectors are insufficient, and the welfare sector, such as senior citizens’ homes, home medical care, home nursing care, and in-house care support services, is not working well.In order to deal with such a problem, it was decided that a training course on the multi-purpose businesses of Japanese agricultural cooperatives targeting senior officials of Nikkei agricultural cooperatives would be conducted in order to look into the direction of strengthening the multipurpose businesses of agricultural cooperatives (in particular, quality management techniques, welfare services, and a management system that makes full use of information technology) and explore the possibility of welfare services in local communities by agricultural cooperative organizations as a new initiative.

It should be noted that, in July 2015, IDACA helped with the field study visits for training midlevel staff members of Nikkei agricultural cooperatives hosted by JICA Yokohama and conducted by the Association of Nikkei & Japanese Abroad. The training course in FY2016 will be the first time for JA ZENCHU/IDACA to conduct training for Nikkei agricultural cooperatives in 24 years.

*Nikkei refers broadly to Japanese people who have relocated overseas on a permanent basis, as well as their second, third and fourth generation descendants.