(4) Start with Soil ― Ten-year Plan for Rebuilding the Economies of Individuals
Japan must also make renewed efforts to spread agriculture among its people.
Polarization of agriculture into advanced and basic forms is already strikingly evident. The very specialized and high value-added form of agriculture, called advanced agriculture, resembles Japan’s competitive manufacturing sector. Advanced agriculture can be likened to professional baseball, and Major League Baseball at that, rather than amateur sandlot baseball. To promote advanced agriculture, the national government does not need to get involved at all; all it needs to do is clean up the homeland and remove the hazards. Then, advanced agriculture can develop from there with help from the private sector. [So I am not going to elaborate on how to promote advanced agriculture here].
What I mean by “Start with Soil ― Ten-year Plan for Rebuilding the Economies of Individuals” is as follows.
First, as I described in the sections on education, I propose that “farm work” be taught in compulsory education. “Farm work” will be taught as one of the sets of knowledge and skills that should be acquired as the bare minimum ― knowledge and skills that will enable an individual to secure a job and make a living [under all circumstances]. In Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, an ideal way of life would be to wake up in the morning, tend the fields for about two hours, and then go to work. Acquiring skills in “farm work” will enable people to produce their own foods, albeit at subsistence levels. Being able to feed themselves on produce which they grow for themselves ― albeit a minimum ― will greatly increase people’s sense of security in life. It is not only good for people’s health but also crucial in developing and maintaining a sustainable society.
Second, by learning “farm work,” people can feed themselves even when they are unemployed. Even in the most stable of societies, people may leave their jobs for various reasons and become unemployed until they take up their next jobs. Currently, the national government provides unemployment benefits for the unemployed under an insurance scheme. However, in the age to come, people should grow subsistence crop for themselves while they are unemployed, instead of receiving unemployment benefits.
In practice, as more people live Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability, exchanging crops among each other will become commonplace. So, people who are able to tend the fields will not be driven to despair by unemployment. While joblessness may prevent them from earning money, at least they could support themselves ― albeit at a minimum level ― by growing crops in the field.
(Date published / 公開日： 8/7/2021)
(Date last updated / 最終改訂日: 8/7/2021)