Linking the Research Systems and Extension Services in Japan


Farm Management Laboratory

Fukui Prefectural Agricultural Experiment Station

The most important mission of the Agricultural Extension Service is to transmit and spread new agricultural technological methods to farmers. These new technologies are usually developed by agricultural research institutes. To get the research results is one of the most important functions of the extension service.
In Japan, there are many kind of National Research Institutes and Prefectural Research Institutes. Each of them has its own functions which is related to agricultural production.
A present research system and the organization of the national government and the prefectural government systems are introduced.

1. The Role of Agricultural Research Institutes in Cooperative Extension Service in Japan
1) The role of Agricultural Research Institutes in Cooperative Extension Service
2) Number of Agricultral Researchers in Japan

2. Organization and main duties of national research institutes
1) Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council(AFFRC)
  AFFRC is a special agency attached to the MAFF, consisting of chairman and 6 members.
The main duties of the Research Council are as follows.
(1) Planning and coordination
(2) Liaison and coordination between research and administration
(3) Administration and guidance of the National Research Institutes
(4) Assistance in the research activities pursued in the various institutes operated by the prefectural organizations and the private sector
2) Organization of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council Secretariat
-Director General
-Research Councillors(2 members)
-Administration Division
General coordination, general affairs, budget, finance and accounting, personal administration
-Policy Planning and Research Division
General planning research projects, investigations, publications, administrations
-Liaison and Coordination Division
Coordination and supervision of research activities, liaison between research organizations and administration services, training of personnel of national research institutes, genetic resources management
Office of Environmental Research
-Research and Development Division
Large-scale research projects, special research projects, research and development projects, frontier research projects
-Innovative Technology Division
Planning and coordination of general guidelines and policies relating to biotechnology and other innovative technology, execution and coordination of related budget
Office of Private Sector
-Regional Research Promotion Division
Regional research projects, guidance and assistance of the prefectural research institutes, research programs specifically assigned, training of the personnel of the prefectural
-International Research Division
Planning and coordination of international research activities
-Equipment and Facilities Arrangement Division
Establishment and supervision of facilities and equipment of the research institutes
-Tsukuba Office
Administration of the facilities for common use of the Tsukuba Institutional Complex of the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Computer Center, Information Center,Tsukuba Bio-science Hall
Coordinator for Research Collaboration
-Counsellors for Research Coordination(5 members)
Basic planning, evaluation and coordination of research activities
-Counsellors for Research and Development(3 members)
Planning, execution and evaluation of large-scale projects
-Research Coordinators(16 members)
Studies and investigations of specific themes
-Expert of Research Information
-Expert of Advanced Research
-Expert of Safety Standard

3) The main objectives of research activities for Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries (Jul.1996)
(1) Strengthening of the Structure of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries in Japan
In order to strengthen the structure of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in Japan, it is essential to increase productivity, improve product quality, secure more comfortable labor conditions and to promote environmentally-sound agriculture. For long-term expansion, both at the national and regional levels, advanced basic research to upgrade production technology for agriculture, forestry and fisheries should be developed, along with innovative technological systems which can be transferred to the production sites.
(2) Development and Utilization of Bio-functions for Generating New Industries
In order to generate new industries beyond the current limits of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, it is important to conduct basic studies. These studies include the development of food products with new functions, development of new bio-materials and promotion of bio-remediation technology through the elucidation of various bio-functions.
(3) Upgrading of Processing and Distribution Systems for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Products
To meet the growing diversification and sophistication of consumers' needs, it is important to provide consumers with safe, wholesome and value-added food products.
To achieve these objectives, it is essential to upgrade processing distribution and quality evaluation technology, as well as carry out studies for developing a more efficient marketing system.
(4) Revitalization of Rural Communities and Enhancement of Multiple Functions of Agriculture, Forestry and fisheries
Rural and fisheries communities need to be reorganized and become more attractive to urban residents.
Therefore, it is necessary to carry out research for the development of technology, to upgrade the infrastructure in order to improve the production and living environment, to draft comprehensive regional plans, and to develop techniques for the promotion of regional products and mixed farming systems, as well as to enhance the multiple functions of agriculture, forestry and fisheries in these communities.
(5) Conservation of the Environment and Appropriate Management of National Research for Sustainable Development Mankind
In order to promote sustainable development mankind in harmony with the natural environment, basic and applied research should be carried out to develop techniques for environmental conservation of oceanic and forest resources as well as appropriate management of biological resources. In addition to this, environmental issues on a global scale should be addressed.
(6) Contribution to the Development of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries from and International Perspective
Since it is anticipated that the population in the developing countries will continue to increase rapidly, it is important to undertake cooperative research projects.
These projects should kind solutions to stabilize the supply and demand of food commodities to contribute to the sustainable development of agriculture, forestry and fisheries on a global scale.
(7) Development of Cross-cutting Basic Research Strategies
In order to promote basic as well as efficient applied research in the field of agriculture, forestry and fisheries, cross-cutting basic research strategies need to be improved such as, upgrading information sciences and the development of new technology for gene manipulation, sensing, as well as the conservation and evaluation of genetic resources.

4) Types of Research
(1) Ordinary Research
Research which is set up by each institute without cooperation from other institutes
(2) Project Research
A research which is set up by AFF Research Council in cooperation with many research institutes.
(3) Designated Research
Research which is entrusted to prefectural research institutes
(4) International Research
Joint research project with developing countries
5) The National Research Institutes
Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council
Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Research Council Secretariat, 277
  -Tsukuba Office
    -Computer Center
    -Research Information Center
    -Tsukuba Bio-science Hall
-National Agriculture Research Center, NARC, 314(201)
-National Institute of Agrobiological Resources, ABR, 228(142)
  -DNA Information and Stock Center
-National Institute of Agro-Environmental Sciences, NIAES, 214(156)
-National Institute of Animal Industry, NIAI, 212(119)
  -Japan Animal Genome Database
-National Grassland Research Institute, NGRI, 208(113)
-Fruit Tree Research Station, FRUIT, 217(112)
  -Fruit Tree Research Station (Akitsu Branch), AKT
  -Fruit Tree Research Station (Kuchinotsu Branch), KCNT
-National Research Institute of Vegetables, Ornamental Plants and Tea, NIVOT, 276(155)
-National Research Institute of Agricultural Engineering, NKK, 116(78)
(Regional Agricultural Experiment Stations)
 -Hokkaido National Agricultural Experiment Station, CRYO, 346(170)
   -Hokkaido National Agricultural Experiment Station (Memuro Branch), MMR
 -Tohoku National Agricultural Experiment Station, TNAES, 337(158)
   -Tohoku National Agricultural Experiment Station (Omagari Branch), OMG
 -Hokuriku National Agricultural Experiment Station, INADA, 136(74)
 -Chugoku National Agricultural Experiment Station, CGK, 207(98)
 -Shikoku National Agricultural Experiment Station, SKK, 121(62)
 -Kyushu National Agricultural Experiment Station, KNAES, 306(152)
   -Kyushu National Agricultural Experiment Station (Miyakonojo Branch), MYKZ
-National Research Institute of Agricultural Economics, NRIAE, 84(51)
-National Institute of Sericultural and Entomological Science, NISES, 186(115)
-National Institute of Animal Health, NIAH, 293(143)
-National Food Research Institute, NFRI, 135(107)
-Japan International Research Center for Agricultural Sciences, JIRCAS, 163(117)
-Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute, FFPRI, 719(486)
  -Forestry and Forest Products Research Institute (Kansai Branch), FSM
-Hokkaido National Fisheries Research Institute, HNF, 83(25)
-Tohoku National Fisheries Research Institute, MYG, 67(37)
-National Research Institute of Fisheries Science, NRIFS, 163(92)
-Nansei National Fisheries Research Institute, NNF, 79(46)
-Japan Sea National Fisheries Research Institute, JSNF, 61(23)
-National Research Institute of Sea Fisheries, ENYO, 97(52)
-National Research Institute of Aquaculture, NRIA, 87(57)
-National Research Institute of Fisheries Engineering, NRIFE, 62(42)
note : -name of the research institute, abbreviation for domain name in internet, number of staff (number of researchers)
3. Linking the Research System and Extension Service in Fukui Prefecture
1) Organizational chart of Fukui Prefecture's Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
-Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Policy Planning Division
(Distribution Promotion Office)
(Guidance and Inspection Office for Agricultural Cooperative)
(Agricultural Land Management Office )
-Agricultural Technology and Management Division
Agricultural Experiment Station
(Original Crop Seed Center
(Food Processing Research Center
Horticultural Experiment Station
Agricultural Extension centers
Koshi, Sakai, Okuetsu, Nan'etsu, Nyu, Nishu, Wakasa
(Horticultural Promotion Center
-Agricultural Horticulture Division
Plant Disease and Insect Control Center
-Livestock Division
Livestock Experiment Center
Livestock Health and Sanitation Center
Prefectural Livestock Ranch (Okuetsu Highland and Reinan)
-Fisheries Division
Fisheries Experiment Station
Sea Farming Center
Fresh-water Fisheries Research Center
-Fishing Port Division
Echizen Fishing Port Office
-Forestry Administration Division
Forestry Office (Koshi, Sakai, Ono, Nan'etsu, Nyu)
Comprehensive Green Center
-Forestry Preservation Division
-Agricultural Village Planning Division
Agricultural Village Improvement Offices (Fukui, Sakai, Okuetsu, Nan'etsu, Nyu)
-Agricultural Village Improvement Division
2) Extension Service
(1) Number of extension workers (as of 1995)

Farm Advisor Home Adviser
Crop 47 Farming work 10
Vegetable 45 Farm management 7
Flowers 14 Food processing 6
Fruit 7 Rural environment 2
Livestock 10 (subtotal) (25)
(subtotal) (124) (TOTAL) (148)
(2) Number of Subject Matter Specialist (SMS) 10
Speciality : Crop, Vegetable, Flowers, Fruit, Livestock, Farm management, Extension way, Farming work, Rural environment, Information
(Soil environment), (Pest and disease), (Food processing)
( ) : Additional post of researcher

3) Fukui Agricultural Experiment Station
(1) Duties and Activities
- Administrative Division, 10
- Administrative affairs
- Field and facility management
- Department of Agronomy, 13
- Recommendation of major crop varieties
- Improvement of crop planting methods and studies of eco-physiology
- Development of growth monitoring method of crops
- Development of direct seeding technique
- Development of low-cost agricultural systems and related machinery and management
- Studies of agricultural areas and advice for farm management
- Department of Rice Breeding, 6
- Breeding rice varieties
- Collection and conservation of rice genetic resources
- Development of breeding techniques
- Department of Horticulture and Biotechnology, 16
- Breeding and recommendation of vegetable, ornamental plant and fruit tree varieties
- Improvement of field and facility agriculture methods and studies on their eco-physiology
- Development of labor-saving culture methods
- Development of mass production system of superior planting materials
- Development and improvement of new crops by biotechnology
- Department of Agricultural Environment, 13
- Studies of field productivity and efficient use of fertilizers
- Monitoring of soil/crop nutritional interaction in the region
- Studies of environmental conservation
- Quality control of fertilizer and feeding materials
- Forecasting and development of control method of diseases and pests
- Analysis of pesticides, residues and advice on safe use of agrochemicals
- Original Crop Seed Center, 4
- Production and supply of stock seed
- Conservation of original stock of major crops
- Development of seed production technique
- Food Processing Research Institute, 11
- Development of processing technology of agricultural and marine products
- Food analysis and estimates
- Food distribution techniques
- Technical advice for food processing

(2) Number of research subject and budget

(3) General procedure of agricultural research
-Research flow
- Collection of Needs
- Making the research subject
- Making the budget plan
- Planning of the research
- Carrying out the research
- Accumulating the research data
- Intermediate evaluation
- The research results
- Transmission of the research results
- Evaluation by farmers on the spot
- Establishment of new technology

-How to get information to set up the research subject
- From production spots
There are too many problems to solve on the spot.
Production spots (Farmers)---> Extension Worker ----> SMS ----> Researcher
- From producer's organizations
They provide consumer's needs and market's needs
- From the Prefectural government
They request research about their policy.
- From the National government
National research institutes need cooperate with local institutes.
- Researcher's own ideas
- Others
Questionnaires for leading farmers.
-How to transmit the results to farmers
- Technology liaison conference
Researcher ---> SMS ----> Extension Worker ----> Production spots (Farmers)
- Leading farmers' conference
- Meeting for transmission of research results in each extension center
- Meeting at many kind of producer's councils such as mume, vegetable, flower and so on
- Pamphlet of research results "Field Report" and etc.
- Local Paper
- Local radio programs
(4) Research results for Extension work (Fukui Agricultural Experiment Station in 1997)
- Labor saving weeding for direct rice sowing method
- Standardization of top dressing for the rice variety "Koshihikari"
- Reducing of basal dressing using slow-acting fertilizer
- Clubroot resistant new variety "Katsuyama mizuna No.1"
- New rakkyo variety "Hybrid Rakkyo No.1" for cooking
- New rakkyo variety "Hybrid Rakkyo No.2" which can be eaten raw
- Water culture of tomato using crushed rice hulls
- Weed control by a ground cover plant "Ajuga reptans L."
- Quick measuring methods of rice cracker moisture in food factories
- New variety of yeast "FK-214a" and "FK-3a" for sake fermentation
- Development process of farm management on the field of seedling production

4) Personnel exchange

5) An example of a research-extension linkage system in Fukui prefecture
In Fukui prefecture, the Rice Growth Diagnosis and Forecast System has been in operation since 1991. The purposes of this system are: a practice of effective rice cultivation and a stable production of superior quality rice by means of accurate diagnosis and forecasts.
Before we made up this system, diagnosis of growth and forecast of the main rice growth periods were conducted in each area or extension center. This system covers all of the prefectural area now.
This system is mainly managed by extension workers, SMSs, researchers and government staff.
(1) Diagnosis and forecasts of the growth of paddy rice by mean of personal computers
- Summary and diagnosis of the growth information is based on the investigative data which is collected by extension workers every week.
The investigation fields are the 47 places and each field has 10 years of cumulative data.
- Forecast of the panicle formation stage and the heading stage is based on the DVS system which are calculate using a following factors: transplanting date, a leaf age, daily air temperature and day length.
- Forecast of the outbreak of rice blast is based on the BLASTAM system which is calculated from meteorological data such as temperature, precipitation, duration of sunshine and wind every hour.

(2) Preparation of the technical countermeasure leaflets are based on growth diagnosis results - The applicable technical countermeasures are discussed by SMSs, researchers, agricultural cooperative staff and prefectural government staff. The countermeasures are based on the results obtained from the discussion carried out on the growth information, weather information, growth forecast, plague and disease outbreak forecast, etc., and the relevant guidance leaflets are prepared.

(3) Transmission of the technical countermeasure to farmers
- Each extension center or local cooperative office gets the countermeasures from the network system following the day of the investigation.
- Each local organization, such as extension centers, add their own local countermeasures and inform farmers of the countermeasures.

4. Classification of nations according to linkage type
1) Theoretical framework for types of linkages

2) Promotion of linkage between research and extension administration for improving an agricultural production
(1) Improvement of extension activities method.
Trying a direct approach to the leader of farmers and informal farmers' groups instead of the administrative route
(2) Reform the committee system
To reflect the actual condition of farming, cementing the relationship between committees and extension workers or farmers
(3) Training of researchers and extension workers
Systematic training is essential for their competence as a researchers or as a extension workers (4) Establishment of local research institutes
Establishment of research institutes in every state and specialization of these institute requires a lot of time and money.
(5) Promotion of personnel exchange between research and extension
The improvement of the educational background of the extension workers is essential to promote personnel exchange.

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Linking Research and Extension