Organization for University Research InitiativesWaseda University

Other

Sustainable Food Supply, Agriculture, Bioscience Institute

Field

Field

Director : Shigenobu SHIBATA
Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering

Research theme

To establish a sustainable food supply system based on a research framework which integrates agriculture, biosciences and social sciences.

Overview of research

We have formulated a research group on food and agriculture based on “Waseda Vision 150,” a strategic project through which Waseda University aims to establish a base for agricultural research within the university. Forty-seven researchers at Waseda University will be involved in the project, through which we aim to develop a platform for creating the entirely new domain of “Food and agriculture” at Waseda University; as there is currently no faculty of agriculture at Waseda University, this is the ideal venue for creating this new field. This research institute will form a basis for this project.
Our aim is to make use of Waseda University’s strengths as an institution with a comprehensive range of research domains to develop a food supply system encompassing all players from agricultural producers to consumers. The three domains of research are as follows:

(1) New systems for agriculture and the agricultural workforce
We aim to achieve a breakthrough in the issues Japan’s agricultural system currently faces due to the drastic decline in the numbers of agricultural workers by working to develop more sophisticated producer information through the use of information technology (IT) and diversity such information systems, and restructuring the agricultural labor system. This objective of this domain of research is to design systems and propose policies that will realize the above aims. We also aim to develop partnerships between agriculture, commerce, industry and consumers by enabling citizens to participate in agricultural production, developing a “sixth industry” in the agricultural sector and providing consumers with information about food production.

(2) The “Healthy Food for a Healthy Life” lifestyle revolution
This domain will work to develop functional foods and to work with consumer groups such as consumer cooperatives and the Japanese Housewives’ Association to develop a safe food supply that inspires confidence among consumers, and to develop manufacturing and control systems for food that contributes to human health. This work is part of the “Healthy Food for a Healthy Life” lifestyle revolution, and will be based on a practical approach which will aim to distribute foods that have been developed based on this new consciousness among consumers while also undertaking scientific verification of such foods.

(3) Systems and governance for agriculture, forestry and fishery
There is a growing need to establish agriculture, forestry and fishery systems that co-exist in harmony with natural ecosystems in order to ensure that food is produced sustainably. Such systems are quite different from large-scale agricultural production systems that are overly commercial in nature and which seek only to cut production costs in order to generate short-term profits. In order to establish agriculture, forestry and fishery systems with as small an environmental footprint as possible and realize the “Healthy Food for a Healthy Life” concept in an appropriate manner, we need to establish systems of governance—in other words, participatory management—in the domain of food, covering aspects such as developing partnerships and information-sharing between producers and consumers, developing set-ups for efficient food distribution and effective consumption patterns, the food processing industry, consumers, and distribution by agricultural producers. To achieve these aims, we intend to set out a governance framework for the food production system that brings together not only agricultural producers but also the food processing industry, the distribution industry and consumers.

Adviser

Kenji Horiguchi (Professor Emeritus)

Researchers

Shigenobu Shibata (Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering)
Haruko Takeyama (Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering)
Masayuki Kashiwagi (Professor, Faculty of Human Sciences)
Hiroshi Koizumi (Professor, Faculty of Education and Integrated Arts and Sciences)
Satoshi Tsuneda (Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering)
Masafumi Katsuta (Professor, Faculty of Science and Engineering)
Hisanori Okada (Senior Researcher, Environmental Research Institute)
Yuji Nagai (Researcher, Environmental Research Institute)
Fumiko.Tanaka(Junior Researcher(Assistant Professor)
Masako Fujita (Research Associate)
Motoshi,Hiratsuka (Professor, Faculty of Human Sciences)Shinya Aoyama (Junior Researcher(Assistant Professor))
Hyeonki Kim(Research Associate)
Hiroko Murata(Junior Researcher(Assistant Professor)

Adjunct Researcher

Youji Asama
Akiko Furutani
Kotomi Shiota
Masahiro Amano
Yosuke Yamada
Yoko Komada
Tsukasa Yoshida

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