Media that introduces services that provide emotion and convenience to the world that arise from new technology
Digital native ventures that use the cloud, smartphones, and social media as if they were breathing can make dramatic changes in various industries, and existing players can be sentenced to sudden game changes. Such big changes are flooding various industries. What if such a change comes to agriculture? This time I would like to do such a simulation.
After breakfast, I looked into the screen of my smartphone while drinking coffee, and it was a notification from the zoo I visited before. The donation to the global wildlife coexistence platform in which the zoo participates has been completed. Part of the consideration paid to the zoo by the Watanabe family was used to protect the ecosystem of animals by this mechanism. On a platform where two-thirds of the world's zoos participate, animals are positioned as ambassadors, and the idea is to convey their appeal to visitors and work with staff to conserve and prosper wildlife. Mr. Watanabe reaffirmed the fun memories of the zoo and was excited about the new experience ahead of tomorrow. Tomorrow, I plan to go out with my mother-in-law to the newly opened "Agricultural Experience Space Agrishare".
Agriculture is now meeting ICT and seeking new directions. As with many other industries, the challenges of agriculture are aging, lack of successors, and labor shortages, and no fundamental solution has been found. However, we are trying to shift to the next generation by using IoT sensors to streamline work and creating a database of the wisdom of experienced craftsmen on the cloud to support new farmers.
A civic group that launched "Agrishare" is trying to achieve this with the power of Civic Tech. The representative of the citizen group is the eldest son of a farmer in Chiba, who got a job at a bank without taking over agriculture after graduating from university, changed jobs to a consulting company three years later, studied abroad in the United States, got an MBA and worked for about two years. He also retired and returned to his parents' home to start farming. This representative set up a civic group at Civic Tech to solve the problems of their rural areas, and while expanding the network, worked out a proposal for "Agrishare" with their friends. After that, the project was published on the cloud. The plan was boiled down, involving citizens, municipalities governments, ministries, schools, and businesses, and crowdfunding was used to raise funds to open the business.
Watanabe-san learned about this activity a year ago. It all started when I found them online, sympathized with them, and installed the apps they made. This app is useful for exchanging useful information with users whose ideas and life work are synchronized, setting issues, planning events, and managing projects to achieve them. There are many overseas users thanks to the excellent translation API.
"Agrishare" has also formed a group with this app from the preparatory stage, and opinions are always actively exchanged. In addition, since payment data can be registered on the app, you can also apply for participation in paid seminars and events. Mr. Watanabe invited his mother-in-law who was interested in agriculture and participated in the Agrishare establishment symposium, and "Agrishare" was a common theme for both of them.
One and a half hours by car from Tokyo. The two who arrived at "Agrishare" first registered the iris information. This is linked to the registration information of the app, and all facility usage fees and purchases of goods are payment with iris recognition. There was a feeling of the organizer here. Visitors who have registered the iris change their clothes in the locker room, and at that time, leave all their belongings such as smartphones, cameras, and wallets in the locker. At Agrishare, the message is that you want your limbs to be free and you can feel the earth with all your five senses.
The vast Agrishare has 300 staff members inside and outside the company at all times. About 30 of them are engaged in system monitoring, EC support, public relations, accounting, general affairs, corporate planning, etc. at the center house, and the others are in the field as share leaders, and it is expected that thousands of people will visit each day on holidays. Correspond to the person. The main role of the share leader is guidance, guidance on farm work, and daily farm work. What is unique is the existence of a folklore clerk. From among the skilled farmers in the area, we select people who are good at verbalizing the wisdom and experience of agriculture that they have practiced, and always go around the fields to explain to visitors and give guidance to share leaders. ing.
The first activity that Watanabe and his colleagues chose was rice harvesting. Upon arriving at Inada, the visitors and share leaders of the previous time frame had cut about half and had just finished the hemming and seaming. About 10 people, including a family from Osaka and men and women who want to experience farming, will be working with Mr. Watanabe and others. Work started under the guidance of four share leaders.
Interestingly, visitors share the same shift management dashboard with as many as 300 employees. By looking at the app, visitors and employees can realize that they are sharing the same farm work.
This time, Watanabe and his colleagues first took 1.5 hours to harvest rice. I experienced manual work with a sickle in about 30 minutes in the first half, and then proceeded with the work with a hand-held rice harvester. At the end, after bundling the rice and finishing the hemming, the rice that had been harvested in the past and was sufficiently dried was loaded onto an electric light truck. The peaceful work with occasional laughter was fun, and the nostalgic smell of rice tickled my nostrils. Rice is shipped after threshing and rice milling at the rice milling facility on the premises.
If you look at it, this kind of work is being done here and there in Inada. Today is a holiday and there are enough visitors, so we have enough resources, but on weekdays we can't expect visitors like Mr. Watanabe. However, on weekdays, there is a program for those who want to experience farming, and it is filled with applications. There are many visits from neighboring agricultural high schools, university agriculture departments, and overseas. Their aim is not only the actual farm work, but also the operation of operation management performed in the center house and the process of strategic planning that analyzes the huge amount of customer data uploaded to the cloud and devises the next measure. "Agrishare" is open to all of these and is also focusing on developing human resources. It has also been announced that it is already preparing a second base.
In addition to paddy fields, vegetable fields, and orchards, there is an environment-controlled house (plant factory) in the facility, where higher value-added crops such as tomatoes and strawberries with high sugar content are produced. While these crops are sold at direct sales offices and EC, they are also wholesaled to roadside stations and supermarkets, which is a major source of revenue After harvesting rice, Watanabe and his colleagues booked a harvesting and tomato and strawberry tasting program at a plant factory with lunch in between. The two traveled to the plant factory on an autonomous electric shuttle bus. I heard that all the vehicles in the hall are electric cars, and all 20 shuttles are self-driving. Part of the electricity is supplied by solar power generation on the premises. The shuttle bus is a joint demonstration experiment with a major IT manufacturer.
The plant factory was next to the shipping and receiving market. I helped with the harvesting work in a clean room, but the surprise was the tasting of tomatoes and strawberries, and the sugar content was outstandingly delicious. It is said that it is showing strong sales to women in urban areas, mainly in Tokyo.
By the way, for those who are accustomed to SNS, it is good to be empty-handed, but if you can not take a picture of the experience, you may be dissatisfied. I think, but there was a device in it. One small safety drone will be prepared for each group of visitors, and during the activity, the group will be photographed from all angles and uploaded to the cloud in real time. It saves a wide variety of images, from images that capture the whole image to images that automatically crop individual faces, and posts good images with comments such as "Smile is wonderful!" To SNS groups. .. Therefore, you can save the trouble of viewing a huge number of photos.
The drone is worried about the high-pitched sound of the propeller, but the drone used in "Agrishare" has a function to generate a sound in the opposite phase to the propeller sound and cancel the propeller sound, so the dragonfly flies. It doesn't bother me with the impression that it's out. It autonomously avoids obstacles and shoots from various angles, and when finished, returns to the station to charge itself.
3 pm. After a dreamy day, I returned to the center house. There is a large communal bath in the locker room, where you can sweat and change into your original clothes. Check-in and check-out are lined up, but the conductors are completely separated and the flow is smooth. On the way back, when you pass through the gate, the app and the center will communicate and the payment will be completed automatically. It's unbelievable. The vegetables I bought after lunch arrived at the checkout gate and I was able to pick them up immediately.
If you check the payment screen of the application on your smartphone, you can see the facility usage charge, meal fee, vegetable purchase fee, etc. At the end, "Thank you 50 points" is printed. According to the staff, it seems that companies and organizations share gratitude and sympathy with consumers, and both the zoos they visited before and "Agrishare" are displayed because they support this mechanism. According to the explanation, today's gratitude and impression sharing points should be added at a later date. The points will be used to fund activities and startups that benefit both the person and the company that gave the points.
Companies are trying to find new value in capitalism with concepts such as CSV management, SDGs, and ESG investment. Except for the desire to build longer and more meaningful relationships with customers. This mechanism can also be understood in the same context. Mr. Watanabe returned home, feeling that this relationship between people and businesses would be a hope for the future in which children would live.
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