Students will learn about agriculture in general to acquire the specialized knowledge and techniques related to biological functions, production environment, production distribution system, and distribution economic mechanism.
We will provide multi-layered education under the sharing and cooperation of each research field, such as nature and social science related to soil, water, weather, science and engineering related to production and distribution system, and socioeconomics related to the international food system.
Creating New Environmentally Friendly Agricultural Production Technology
The objective of education and research in Agronomy is to create sustainable agricultural production systems that are environmentally friendly and contribute to humanity by scientifically elucidating the lives of organisms involved in agriculture from a variety of perspectives including physiology, ecology, and genetics, and applying the principles gained.
Plant Breeding, Crop Science, Horticultural Science, Plant Production Physiology, Plant Pathology, Entomology, Insect Genome Science
Examples of Gene Function Analysis Using Bombyx mori Mutants
Analysis of a varnished eye mutant (ve) using a genetically modified Bombyx mori with DsRed as a marker expressed under the control of neuron-specific promoters
The adult compound eyes of this varnished eye mutant are tiny and have a luster, and hardly any normal optic nerve cells were confirmed. However, since the larval stemmata are not different from the normal ones in the varnished eye mutant, it was found that the ommatidia of adult compound eyes did not come from larval stage stemmata.
Striving to Increase the Yield of Crops Adapted to Environmental Stress
“Pre-harvest sprouting” in wheat, and germination control mechanism based on reactive oxygen species, GA, and ABA in grain aleurone cell protoplast (DCFDA fluorescence)
The phenomenon of pre-harvest sprouting occurs when the harvest season of wheat and wet season happens at the same time. This causes the starch in the endosperm to break down, which significantly lowers the mealiness. In aleurone cells of barley grain, reactive oxygen species (ROS) become control factors for signals of the phytohormones GA and ABA, and regulate germination by inducing α-amylase.
Rice Genetics Has Entered the Age of Genome Biology
Rice has garnered attention as both a crop and model plant. We are conducting genetic research on rice from the population level down to the genetic (DNA) level.
Causes of Plant Diseases
When a plant susceptible to a pathogen comes into contact with that pathogen, and the environmental conditions are right, it causes a disease. Analyzing the mechanisms of disease onset is an important theme in developing methods to prevent plant disease damage.
Use of Solar Energy by Plants
Plants have a photosynthesis and dry matter production system which uses energy from the sun to convert CO2 and H2O into carbohydrates. Elucidating and improving this system is an important theme in increasing the production capacity of crops.
There are more species of insects than any other organism on the planet, and they play an essential part in the ecosystem. However, there are still a great many insects that have not been named identified.
Marginal Picotee Formation in the Petals of Camellia japonica
Camellia plants are world-famous flowering trees in Japan, and many cultivars with wide variations of flower shapes and colors have been established since ancient times. Among them, marginal picotee cultivars are highly evaluated for horticultural use and provided for the research on the expression of marginal picotee formation.
Message from the Director
A variety of bioresources found on the earth are used to carry out agricultural production, which underpins the lives of humans. However, only prioritizing efficiency leads to the destruction of natural ecosystems—the basis for agriculture and for people’s lives. In the Agronomy specialization, we proactively tackle important issues related to bioresources and the environment with the aim of creating sustainable and environmentally friendly agricultural production systems.
Research in the Agronomy program covers a wide range of organisms including: staple crops such as rice, tubers, and beans;horticultural crops such as vegetables, trees, and flowers; microorganisms such as plant pathogens; various species of insects; and Bombyx mori (silkworm), which are used as model insects. Therefore, education and research in this Agronomy centers mainly on the academic disciplines that comprise the basic fields of biology: genetics, physiology, biochemistry, ecology, morphology, and taxonomy. We also tackle practical issues such as improvement of crop production capacity and quality; development of pest control methods, biopesticides, and techniques using natural enemies; discovery and utilization of latent functions in organisms; and development of new agricultural production systems. Furthermore, we provide education and conduct research that makes use of rapidly progressing life sciences research such as genome analysis, gene expression regulation, tissue culture, cell fusion, and gene delivery.
The Agronomy program is composed of seven laboratories—Plant Breeding, Crop Science, Horticultural Science, Plant Production Physiology, Plant Pathology, Entomology, and Insect Genome Science—which collaborate in education and research. Students who complete the curriculum will acquire the basic nowledge and skills of agricultural production, and experience the difficulties of raising crops and the joy of harvesting through practical farming courses and senior thesis research.
Agro-production Environmental Engineering
Trailblazing the Future by Solving Issues Facing Agriculture and the Environment
Education and research in Agricultural Resources, Engineering and Economics cover the effective use and conservation of local resources such as water and climate resources, multifaceted functions of soils, water, and meteorological environment, coexistence between nature and society, and conservation of the regional ecosystem from the perspective of agricultural production. The knowledge and skills students gain here will contribute to the improvement of food production in Japan and around the world, conservation of production environments on the local and global level, and the creation of rural community environments that are in harmony with nature.
Irrigation and Water Management, Water Environment Engineering, Environmental Soil Engineering, Soil Science, Agricultural Meteorology
JABEE Accreditation and Education Program -Striving to produce engineers who can succeed on the global stage
In response to the recent trend of global standardization of engineering qualifications, this educational program applied for and received JABEE accreditation in May 2006 with the aim of fostering international engineers.
For details, visit the JABEE website.
Water use systems for sustainable crop production and good environment
Water is essential for crops. Particularly in dry regions with little rainfall, technology such as micro-irrigation is suitable to glow crops using the limited water resources effectively to prevent desertification. We have been conducting some kinds of research on such technologies with the aim at sustainable water use systems for agriculture in rural regions. Using water to produce crops turns into bio-diversity and creates beautiful rural landscapes as some valuable eco-system services. And we also have been studying water use methods that enable crops to be produced efficiently and in a way that is beneficial to the surrounding environment and rural life.
Making Use of Climate Resources
Agriculture requires technology that actively utilizes natural resources which can be used sustainably and repeatably. We are conducting research on sustainable and high-profit crop production that effectively utilizes climate resources such as the sun to conserve energy (to break away from petroleum), increase yield, improve quality, and reduce labor. We also measure functions of plants that react to environmental changes with biometrics sensors and conduct research on the Speaking Plant Approach—a method for optimizing habitats.
For the Sustainable Use of Soil Resources
The soil that covers the surface of the earth is essential for the survival of organisms, but it easily loses its functionality if improperly managed. This program provides education and conducts research on pedogenesis and chemical reactions that occur in soils from the perspective of the interaction between soils and organisms, in order to restore contaminated soil, efficiently manage fertilization, and conserve ecosystems.
Striving for Sound and Healthy Aquatic Environments!
Educations and researches about water environments as they should be are conducted through water quality surveys on the sea, lakes, and reservoirs, chemical analysis, biological surveys, and sophisticated numerical simulations to assess, analyze, and predict the future of aquatic environments.
Creating Healthy Farmland by Making Use of the Land and Conserving the Soil Environment
Maintenance and conservation of farmland and maintenance and management of agricultural civil engineering structures (e.g., canals, levies, and farm roads) are needed for stable food production. We elucidate the physical, chemical, and mechanical characteristics of soil that comprises the land, and provide education and conduct research to utilize that in methods to design and construct structures and develop, maintain, and conserve farmland.
Message from the Director
The agriculture, forestry, and fisheries strive to effectively use bioresources. In order to use bioresources efficiently and sustainably while preserving biodiversity, it is crucial to fully understand the relationship between organisms and the environment and artificially control the environment with appropriate.
For a great many years, we have faced difficult challenges, such as managing and maintaining environmental-friendly irrigation facilities, understanding the movement of water in soils and effective water supply under the understanding, predicting changes in water quantity and quality and restoring degraded water quality, accurately predicting and regulating the flow of thermal and light energy in farms and cultivation facilities, building and maintaining farms and farming structures, predicting the movement of nutrients and hazardous substances in soils, and restoring soils that has degraded due to desertification, pollution, etc. However, new developments and advancements are being made thanks to new findings in mathematical science, the development of simulation technology and sensing techniques, and applications of materials science.
Education and research in the Agro-production Environmental Engineering program aims to solve a wide range of issues such as those above through the collaboration of five laboratories: Irrigation and Water Management, Water Environment Engineering, Environmental Soil Engineering, Soil Science, Agricultural Meteorology. Join us in supporting the agriculture, forestry, and fisheries through cutting-edge environmental engineering solutions, and contributing to the conservation of the earth’s environment and the environments of the local communities where we live.
Bioproduction System Engineering
Giving Shape to Technology that Underpins Sustainable Food Production and Safe Distribution of Fresh Agricultural Products
As food shortages become more severe on a global scale and Japan’s agriculture industry declines due to labor shortage, technology needs to be developed in order to produce food with sustainable methods and distribute agricultural products across national borders. Education and research in Bioproduction System Engineering cover agricultural machinery and robotics that improve the efficiency of agricultural work, information technology that supports stable food production, and the advancement of technology for preparing, processing, and distributing fresh agricultural products safely to consumers.
Agricultural Machinery and Production Systems Design, Postharvest Science
Contributing to Improving the Efficiency of Agricultural Production Systems Through the Development of Safe, High-Performance Agricultural Machinery
Optimized design of agricultural machinery with numerical simulation (development of high-performance agricultural machinery)
Detecting abnormalities, problems, and risks early through machine learning and image analysis of work information and farmland environment information.
Creating Smart Agriculture Based on Data Science
Optimizing Agricultural Production Systems Encompassing the Environment, Crops, and Farmers
An agricultural production system is composed of the business environment (workforce, business size, and agricultural machinery), production environment (climate, soil, and irrigation), crops, and farm management (fertilization, water management, and pest control). In order to ensure sustainable revenue for farmers to stay in business and to maintain the environment of rural communities, it is essential to consider not only increasing yield and improving quality, but also issues such as reducing costs and labor, maintaining capabilities, and mitigating environmental impacts. A wide range of agricultural production systems can be optimized through prediction and control with sensing-based diagnostics and monitoring.
How Do We Assess the Freshness of Fruit and Vegetables?
Agricultural products remain alive after they have been harvested. In order to identify the optimal storage temperature and gas composition to preserve the freshness of vegetables, technology needs to be developed that can measure freshness. To do this, we conduct research to determine fluctuations with lasers, analyze minute structures, and estimate physical properties with computer simulations.
Technology to Ensure Food Safety
We develop methods to eliminate microorganisms on the surface of agricultural products, identify proliferation characteristics, and conduct research on predicting microorganism dynamics with computers.
Message from the Director
Agriculture is unforgiving work that is dependent on the weather, but it was once done by hand. People could only produce enough food for their family with a little left over. They also needed to process, prepare, and store the produced agricultural products, and distribute them without waste. All of this was done by hand. After many, many years, technological advancements were made, and today agricultural products can be produced, processed, and distributed with only a fraction or even several tenths of a fraction of the people that were required in the past. The mechanization of agricultural production, processing, and distribution played the biggest part in this process. In other words, mechanization plays an essential role in the advancement of agriculture.
Thinking About Food, Agriculture, Rural Communities, Resources, and the Environment from a Social Scientific Perspective
Agricultural Economics is composed of five laboratories—Food & Agricultural Policies, Agricultural & Farm Management, Quantitative Food Economic Analysis, Food Marketing & Distribution, and Environmental Economics. Together they provide education and conduct research on food, agriculture, rural communities, resources, and the environment from a global, social scientific perspective.
Food and Agricultural Policies, Agricultural and Farm Management, Quantitative Food Economic Analysis, Food Marketing and Distribution, Environmental Economics
Changes in International Grain Prices, Crude Oil Prices, and the Global Supply and Demand of Food
The graph below shows the day-to-day changes in crude oil and grain prices (Chicago market price) from July 2007 to the end of March 2017. After crude oil prices rose to $145 per barrel (WTI) in July 2008, they dropped sharply to one-third of that—$35 per barrel—only six months later in December. This caused the prices of soybeans and other crops (Chicago market price) to rise and fall in the same way. Today food is used for fuel. The increase in demand for agricultural products has been a plus for the agricultural industry and has increased production volume around the world, but at the same time, food prices have become heavily dependent on crude oil prices and economic trends. After that, crude oil prices dropped below $50 and food prices fell as well. Considering these circumstances, what measures should Japan—one of the biggest food importers and largest economies in the world—take and how should it lead the world to ensure a stable food supply for not only itself but also the world?
Join us in thoroughly investigating and researching the situations surrounding food exporting and importing countries, and impoverished nations around the world, and in considering the ideal food supply and demand policies and agriculture policies.
Information System to Support Agricultural Business Risk Management and Food Traceability
In order to sustainably supply safe food, it is essential to practice risk management and traceability to track food distribution route information in agricultural production and business. Hopes are being placed in field studies on information systems, and their design and development, to support these practices. Join us in considering what such information systems should look like.
International Joint Research on Food Safety
Sixty percent of Japan’s calorie-based food supply depends on agricultural products imported from countries such as the US and China. International joint research projects such as local field studies and risk awareness surveys are essential to sustainably supply safe food. Join us in studying, both theoretically and practically, about next-generation agriculture and food production practices that will enable the sustainable provision of safe food.
Economic Disparities Between Industries, Regions, and Countries
We scientifically investigate the causes of and solutions for economic disparities in agriculture and rural communities by using numerical models, statistical analysis, and simulation analysis tools. One of the biggest factors in economic disparity is that either the seller or the buyer of agricultural products and materials has much stronger bargaining power on pricing. When farmers have weak bargaining power, their efforts will not bear fruit no matter how hard they try. Creating policies that will increases farmers’ bargaining power on pricing while maintaining a balance between free competition and fairness plays an important part in solving economic disparities.
Auction at Fruit and Vegetable Wholesale Market
You’ve probably seen scenes of lively auctions on TV. Agricultural product wholesale markets where such auctions take place play an important role in supplying communities with agricultural products by gathering agricultural products produced around the country, determining prices, and allocating them to retailers. When this distribution function works properly, the supply and demand of agricultural products is stable, producers can sell without having unsold goods, and consumers can buy without shortages. Some regions in the world faced with unstable supply and demand of agricultural products seek to modernize distribution, while others that have already achieved stable supply and demand strive to further increase its sophistication. Join us to theoretically and systematically study about agricultural product distribution, conduct field studies, and think about distribution.
Environmental Conservation and Agricultural Production on a Global Scale
The Environmental Economics laboratory provides education and carries out research from an economics perspective to investigate new possibilities for the agricultural industry and rural farm communities. The agricultural industry and rural farm communities produce a wide range of value beyond food production, such as recycling organic matter, supplying renewable energy, providing picturesque landscapes and tranquil settings, conserving diverse animals and plants, and passing on traditional culture and the wisdom of our forebears. In this specialization, we carry out diverse research and educational activities based on the keywords of “agriculture,” “environment,” “health,” and “bioenergy,” covering issues such as conserving ecosystems and biodiversity, creating a circular society based on an independent, decentralized energy system, developing programs to maintain farming culture systems, and evaluating markets of products with new value.
Message from the Director
Agricultural Economics is the only specialization in the School of Agriculture that studies social science. It is composed of five laboratories: Food & Agricultural Policies, Agricultural & Farm Management, Quantitative Food Economic Analysis, Food Marketing & Distribution, and Environmental Economics. We provide education and conduct research on food, agriculture, rural communities, resources, and the environment from the local to the global level, from social scientific perspectives such as economics and business administration.
Safe crops are essential for our lives, and the stable supply of those crops are a key part of a country’s national policy. Since Japan is a small country, crops must be produced efficiently with limited resources. Therefore, a market economy needs to be created which satisfies both producers and consumers, and importing countries and exporting countries. Other important issues for Japan are the conservation of natural resources and the environment, which forms the foundation for food production, the organic relationship between urban and rural communities, the production of renewable energy, and the development of a circular society. Agricultural Economics provides education and conducts research to solve such issues.
In the program, students learn about the characteristics of the agricultural industry that differ from other industries, such as being family- or community-run while being greatly impacted by natural conditions, and study field survey techniques to understand what really goes on in agricultural settings, theories to objectively find solutions (e.g., agricultural economics), and the necessary analytical tools (e.g., statistics).
Graduates of this specialization have gone on to a wide range of careers with a variety of employers, and not only in occupations related to agriculture. Examples include not only food manufacturers, agricultural cooperatives, and the government, and also banks, trading companies, and non-food manufacturers.
We have a video that introduces each field and lab to the public.
They have English subtitles, so be sure to check them out!