A project to resurrect Fukushima's agriculture in Australia 

Original text from FNN news

About 10% of ecological entity is said to live in Australia. It's abundant in natural resources such as iron ore or natural gas, and it has the vast national territories and a low population density. There is an enormous project going on in a city called Eyre in north east Australia to resurrect Fukushima's agriculture. 

June 7, a man who returned to Japan took out rice grains from his suitcase and said, "This is the future of Fukushima." 
Eyre, a city in Queen's land, has a population of about 9.000 and its beach is popular with tourists during winter. 
Takemi Shirado, 51-year old, moved from Iwaki to Eyre to resurrect Fukushima's agriculture. He began to grow rice in the city by himself. 
"It's a tough job", said he.
He is from Iwaki (Fukushima), and a leader of NPO Iwaki World Tanbo Project (IWTP). 
He grows "Koshi Hikari" (a Japanese rice brand) experimentally in a state center. 
Mr. Shirado is trying exceptional 4 crops a year. (Rice is usually one-cropped in Japan). 
He said, "I've realized that I can grow good rice here. Eyer is a good place for rice growing." 
"I should continue to grow rice with dreams and hopes to resurrect Fukushima's agriculture." 
He had to abandon his land in Iwaki, hit hard by radioactive contamination and harmful rumors. It's hard for the farm families to continue farming in Fukushima. 
Dry rice cultivation is usual in Australia, but he sticks to wet rice cultivation, which has some other merits like benefit of flood control or mitigating the temperatures. 
He has much expectation on the local crop industry, Blue Ribbon Rice. The spokesman of the company said, "His project is so exciting. It makes a perfect sense." 
The company makes business all over the world, especially China is the key account. A stable market will be developed by exporting Japanese high-grade rice for which demands are increasing. 

3 month after the planting, many local people came to his lecture on cropping, including some members of the network, staffs of the crop company and local officials. 
A local official of Queen's land said, "We might be able to support the people of Fukushima. It's a chance for us to expand the rice growing business too." The local government of Queen's land expects to export Japanese rice in future. 
Local media takes a strong interest in the project as well.  
A tasting party was held in Iwaki after his return to Japan. Apart from NPO members and farmers, young people who study agriculture came to taste Koshi Hikari grown in Australia. They said, "It's tasty", "sweet". 
A NPO member said, "It meets japanese taste. We have to market it as Koshi Hikari from Australia." 
Good feedbacks motivate farmers to continue farming.
Mr. Shirado said, "I really hope I can go to Australia together with the farmers from Fukushima to grow good rice" . 
His challenge has just begun. 

Follow Mr. Takemi Shirad on Facebook and Twitter.

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