Factors for Transition towards Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in Japan: Underlying Motivations and Challenges

By Hiroaki Murase, Takashi Maeno and Kiyohiko Sakamoto.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) refers to a set of management practices that allow sustainable and effective farm operations through building a direct and close relationship between a producer and consumers who are often members of the community surrounding the farm. While environmental, economic, socio-cultural benefits of CSA have been widely reported, little has been known as to what motivates farmers to move towards and continue, namely, to build sustainable CSA ventures, especially in Japan, where CSA practices have only recently begun. This paper aimed to characterize current CSA farmers in Japan, their motivations, gauge non-CSA farmers’ interests in, perceived potential benefits of, and concerns about CSA, and provide suggestions for non-CSA farmers for transitions in farming practices. Findings suggest that CSA farmers showed minuscule interests in economic incentives as such, whereas the non-CSA farmers were more likely concerned about explicit economic benefits than other social values. Also, environmentally friendly farming practices, such as organic farming, and diversification of products, were crucial factors to start up a successful CSA. However, while technical solutions to solve these problems may be available, motivations underlying the successful CSAs in Japan, such as social causes and pursuit of cultural and moral values, are indispensable to
build sustainable CSAs.

Keywords: CSA, Community Supported Agriculture, Farm Management, Local Products, Regional Development, Japan

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 7, Issue 5, pp.199-214. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 979.226KB).

Hiroaki Murase

Graduate School of System Design and Management, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan

Takashi Maeno

Graduate School of System Design and Management, Keio University, Yokohama, Japan

Kiyohiko Sakamoto

University of Kentucky, Department of Sociology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, USA


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