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Vol. 5 Of Family and the Farm

A father and daughter work together to directly seed their family’s rice paddies with a drone as they seek to usher in a new future for rice cultivation

The father once declared that the family’s days as rice farmers would end with his generation...but something later changed his mind. The aging of crop producers in Japan continues to accelerate and the country’s agriculture industry is facing a severe shortage of younger farmers to keep it healthy into the next generation. With the advent of new farming methods, tools, and his daughter’s resolve, the father sets off on a new challenge with his daughter, believing that sticking to convention may not always be the right answer.

Direct seeding is a farming method that eliminates the need for transplanting rice seedlings into a flooded rice paddy and instead sows the seeds directly into the field. Using this method instead of conventional transplanting is expected to reduce the burden on farmers, and with the father needing to hand off his farms to the next generation if they are to continue, he spent much time in thought. He decided that finding that perfect balance between his years of experience in his fields under the sweltering sun and the latest agtech was the path to take for the future.

His daughter skillfully operates a drone over the rice paddies her father nurtured with care over the years. The seeds it sowed in the spring sprout toward the sky and before long, fall comes, and the fields are gold with mature rice ready for harvesting. A snapshot of the future of agriculture can be seen as the father and daughter work. As she takes a bite of her family’s freshly cooked rice, she declares, “I’ve come this far, so I’ve got to do it now.”

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