Some farmers have an annual turnover of 3.5 million yen. The farm stay business learned from Anshin-cho, Oita province.

“Rural Minpaku (Farm Stay)” where you stay in the countryside to experience the industry, without having to visit or travel. Since 2016, the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries has decided to expand the farm stay industry as it is already widespread in Europe and the United States and Japanese foreign tourists are concentrated in urban areas. want to move to rural areas. Launch (* 1). On the other hand, very few people know about the secret to successful farm stay and the benefits for the farmer.

So this time, we interviewed the “Ajimumachi Green Tourism Research Group” in Oita Prefecture. The foundation was founded in 1996 and is a pioneer in green tourism, being the first organization in Japan to operate in the field of farm stay. Even now, many foreign tourists are visiting, and it is attracting attention as a successful model for farm stay. We interviewed Mr. Seiichi Miyata, president of the NPO Anshinincho Green Tourism Research Group, about the efforts and foundations that lead to success.

I started out by overcoming barriers to stay on the farm

At the time of launch, there were three barriers to making on-farm stays.

The first is the farmer’s domestic wall. Today, we are slowly learning to stay on the farm, but at the time, even though there was a farmer’s wife who wanted to accept it, her mother-in-law said, people live with others and make money. It was said that he was at times allegedly involved in the farmer’s ticketing affair. In addition, there were times when other farmers thought “I didn’t make money until I was with other people,” and many farmers were unable to come to the farm.

And second is the wall between us and the community. The agent was not originally from town, so I felt that it was supposed to be a suspicious organization trying to start something strange. Probably because our association was founded the year after the Sarin subway incident, at the time it was thought to be a new religion, such as the “green religion”, which meant their organization. I.

Third is the legal barrier. We held our first “pilot farm holiday” in September 1996. However, the hostel business law at that time stated that “if guests take in year round, the guest facilities must be met hotel, motel ”.

In addition, according to the Law on Food Hygiene, “when providing food and drinks to guests, it is required to clearly define the regulations on facility standards such as kitchen for guests and must be allowed to run restaurants (inn) “(* However, self-service business, etc. If the customer cooks and eats by himself, a business license is not required).

It is hard to recognize both forms of on-farm stay, and I realized that there was no choice but to change the laws to make farm stay a reality.

First of all, we organized a local event that the townspeople could enjoy. “Riverside Walk”, “National Straw Kozumi Tournament”, “Slow Food Thanksgiving Day”, “Gionbo Lecture”, “GT Practice University” and other events completed with the participation of townspeople. First of all, I want the townspeople to understand the farm stays.

Event “Riverside Walk” where you can learn about and think about the natural environment while walking along the riverbank

In addition, there are club activities such as the Agriculture Division, the Planning and Development Department, the Environmental Beauty Department, and the Farm Accommodation, which carries out more specialized activities. We have set up the public relations club activity to make it known to many people outside of town. When we began to focus on PR activities, each media approached our activities and supported us.

I think the understanding of the people in town and the expansion of awareness outside of town made a big change to the legal recognition of the farming practice.

The barriers to entry are low and the economic efficiency of each household averages 1.2 million yen per year.

Since our founding, we have continued our activities under the belief that “people will not follow unless we make green tourism such as farm tourism an industry.” I think working on the farm as a job will enrich your mind and economy. This is a prerequisite for the continuation of activities.

I believed that if it was really good, I would have more friends. In Anshin-cho, 20 years after its founding, there are about 60 families on the farm. Especially in Kyushu, on-farm accommodation is expanding significantly. Was this situation not the result of staying on the farm?

Farewell scene of farmers staying. The exchange that generates such bonds is unique to farm vacations.

I think it is easy to start farming because even the elderly can start at home. The average annual turnover of about 60 households on this team’s farm is 1.2 million yen, and many more than 3.5 million yen, which can be said to be economically viable.

In addition, I think there is great merit in providing homemade agricultural products, imparting the deliciousness of crops, and deepening friendships with farmers. In addition, some farmers have found an heir to their house through staying on the farm.

We will continue our foreign-related activities

We have conducted training in Europe 15 times so far. I always visit the Akkalen village in Vogtwrug, Germany, which has been doing green tourism for a long time. We also went to France, Italy and Austria. That way, I realized once again that the answer to the rural revival lies in implementing the full scale of green tourism such as farm stay.

Europe and Japan have completely different attitudes towards agriculture and work. Germany has a food self-sufficiency rate of 92%, much higher than Japan (* 2). In addition, under the Law on Vacation (ratification of ILO Convention No. 132), a way of life is “to live for vacation. Hard work for vacation ”has been set.

We are also lobbying to promote holiday laws in Japan, but we visited Europe to learn that green travel and holiday laws are a set.

I started out as an opportunity to let people know about staying on the farm.
“Slow Food Thanksgiving Day”, a culinary event created by mothers of farm families and local restaurants

Agricultural stay in Anshin-cho involves local restaurants and restorative agriculture and the entire town. The Japanese farm stay, starting with the Anshin-cho Green Tourism Research Group activities, is expected to grow further in the future.

Address: 1195-1 Shimoge, Anshin-cho, Usa-shi, Oita
Phone: 0978-44-1158 http://www.ajimu-gt.jp/
* Photos provided by Anshinincho Green Tourism Study Group

* 1 The coexistence and convection of cities and farms, mountain areas and fishing villages are concentrated on resident farms (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) http: //www.maff.go. jp / j / nousin / kouryu / 170203.html
* 2 Food self-sufficiency rate (Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries) http://www.maff.go.jp/j/zyukyu/zikyu_ritu/011.html