Should try agricultural products on Sado Island

佐渡島の朱鷺 freefrom-en

 Seafood is just a part of the food on Sado Island

In recent years, agricultural products in Sado Island, including Sadorice, have been highly evaluated, and many distributors have praised them.Agricultural products on Sado Island are highly evaluated by retail buyers for their high level of safety. 

SadoIsland has a strong image of marine products, and the seafood caught in the Sea of Japan is certainly attractive, but I would like you to pay more attention to the agricultural products of Sado Island.Koshihikari-ricefrom Uonuma, Niigata Prefecture isvery famous, but Sado rice from SadoIslandis also gaining brand power.Not only rice, but also fruits such as lemons from Sado Island and traditional persimmons grown without pesticides are very famous.

 In addition, there are four sake brewers on Sado Island, which are very popular. There is no doubt that Sado Island’s sake is recognized by many as an island of good sake. 

 Recently, a famous French natural wine brewer has moved to Sado Island, producing wine from scratch. 

 In this way, the agricultural culture of Sado Island has developed significantly in recent years, and the food culture derived from it has also become more popular. Until thirty years ago, Sado Island was a place where there was a lot of demand for group travel.Sado Island, where you can enjoy fresh seafood dishes and delicious sake, was once visited by more than 2 million tourists annually.However, the annual number of tourists on Sado Island is now about 800,000. Unfortunately, the demand for group travel on Sado Island is devastating. 

 However, Sado Island is now attracting attention as an interesting place for local gastronomy and is sublimation.

Japan’s first World Agricultural Heritage and The Japanese crested Ibis

Sado Island is famous for being expected to be registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for many years. On the other hand, SadoIsland was already certified in 2011 as a GIAHS (Globally Important Agricultural Heritage) certified by the same UN agency FAO (United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization).As of 2021, 66 regions around the world and 11 regions in Japan have been certified, but the first certification in Japan was Sado City on Sado Island.

Unfortunately, the fact that Sado Island’s agriculture is globally recognized is not well recognized. If this fact is recognized by more people, it should have a positive effect on the economic spillover effect of Sado Island. 

There are several reasons why Sado Island was registered as the first Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Site in Japan.

The first reason is that we have introduced a “city planning certification system where people and crested ibis coexist” in the agricultural production system and are expanding it to the entire Sado Island in cooperation with consumers.

The second reason is that Biodiversity conservation type agriculture and agricultural economy are working together to build a sustainable environmental conservation system.

The third reason is that Mt. Sado Kinzan on Sado Island has had a great impact on landscape and culture, and has preserved rural communities by fostering biodiversity and agricultural production activities. 

The keyword common to these is “realization of agricultural land with biodiversity”.It can be said that it is exactly the target for creating a sustainable society that the country advocates.The evaluation is not simply about the efficiency and monetization of agriculture. 

The crested ibis on Sado Island was once extinct, but now you can see wild ibis along national roads.I want more people to know this fact.The temporary extinction of the crested ibis on Sado Island and the fact that it has begun to breed again are closely related to the agriculture of Sado Island. There are two reasons why the crested ibis on Sado Island was temporarily extinct.The first reason is overfishing.The second is the destruction of the rural environment.Now that the environment of Sado Island is in place and the rice fields are used as feeding grounds for the crested ibis, it has become a comfortable place for them to live.

On Sado Island, we conduct large-scale biological surveys on agricultural land twice a year. This is how biodiversity agricultural land is born.One example of a good initiative is to secure enough fishways to ensure that the loach returns to the rice fields in order to secure food for the crested ibis.

We are also focusing on reducing pesticides and chemical fertilizers.You can feel the awareness of the people living in Sado Island about the agricultural land environment. Now, 80% of rice farmers are practicing 50% reduction of pesticides and chemical fertilizers, and many are trying to reduce 80%. 

This initiative is led by the local Japan agricultural cooperatives, who is in a position to sell pesticides and fertilizers, so it is wonderful that the direction was changed to agricultural reconstruction by branding rather than sales of pesticides and fertilizers. 

In the future, I hope that the number of tourists to Sado Island will increase, not for the seafood of the Sea of Japan, but for rice and agricultural products on Sado Island, and rice fields that coexist with nature.