NIRA Research Report 950057
Study of How to Eradicate the Problem of Farmland that Is Small in Scale, Geographically Scattered, and Mixed Together in Terms of Its Ownership
NIRA-Conducted Research, 12 May 1995, 178pp., B5
The problem of small-scale parcels of farmland belonging to a wide array of owners varies in its significance, degree of controversy and content, according to differences in the farmland's production capacity stage and development stage of management. At present, the problem is most serious in areas characterized by lease-concentrated, large-scale management, where the number of farmland units is increasing dramatically, and the distance between farmland units owned by a single farmer is growing wider. More specifically, problems such as reduced operating efficiency, in particular the operating efficiency of machine tools, and increased labor related to planned fertilization are acting as obstacles to the much-needed reduction of costs and enlargement of farmland. Active measures must be taken now to address the problem of such small-scale parcels of farmland under mixed ownership. These could include adjusting farmland so as to enlarge individual units (thereby addressing the problem of the parcels' small scale) and establishing and further developing danchi; danchi are farmland "complexes" which collect, consolidate and adjust farmland units into regular shapes, thus helping to address the problem of mixed ownership).
A possible model in terms of such active measures is rice cultivation agriculture in the flatlands, where the establishment of danchi which serve to oversee rice paddies is actively promoted. (1) Territories of large-scale farms or management structures are established and the farmland's scattered quality is improved by exchanges between managed, large-scale farmland and farmland whose work is entrusted to others. (2) In regions lacking main figures for agriculture, landowners adjust the use of farmland and promote the establishment of danchi in leased lands. (3) As a result of joint management at the village-wide level and organized efforts to promote joint usage of machine tools, aggregate management of farmland, and also aggregate usage of machine tools on the operating level are realized in this type of agriculture.
The government is also taking measures for an effective policy to eliminate small-scale, scattered farmland under mixed ownership. In 1994, the Agricultural Land Use Promotion Law was partially revised and renamed the Law for the Improvement of the Basis of Farm Management. In addition, the farmland-holding rationalization corporations were enforced and expanded, and care farming units were established on the basis of farm management improvement plans. Moreover, plans to adjust farmland, so as to consolidate the farmers who act as the main figures in agriculture, and improve the farmland's scattered ownership, were implemented. This law calls for placing priority on establishing fluid policies with regard to farmland improvement projects.
On the basis of all these points, the present report suggests the following suggestions:
1. Agricultural cooperative associations, public offices, village-level organizations and a community leader will be essential in adjusting the interests among the concerned (between landowners and leaseholds, or among leaseholds).
2. The notion that priority should be placed on utilizing land must be publicized.
3. For a thorough reduction of the extent to which ownership is scattered over large areas, efforts should be made to further develop projects aimed at adjusting the use of farmland at the village level. To this end, a comprehensive land utilization policy which takes into account even the non-agricultural use of farmland, should be taken. Against the background of this plan, the living designs of each member of the village should be considered.
4. Farmland improvement projects should be actively promoted, in a manner consistent with awareness of points 1 through 3 above.
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