The Tsmanian Government has signed a significant memorandum of understanding (MOU) between TasTAFE and Japanese Agriculture (JA) Biei in Tokyo during Tasmania's trade delegation to East Asia.
This exciting new partnership will see TasTAFE's Freer Farm site in Burnie become a training base for young Japanese farmers during the Japanese winter where they will gain practical experience and training in Tasmanian farming practices.
JA Biei is a leading entrepreneurial co-operative representing the agricultural sector in Biei, a town with a population of 12,000 people. JA Biei has 741 member farmers, and is also a member of the national Japan Agriculture Co-operative.
The MOU will begin with the delivery of a pilot program this year to a group of between 5 and 10 Japanese farmers, which will focus on TasTAFE training in the areas of English Language, Agriculture and Horticulture.
It will include occupational health and safety and chemical training, farm visits, study at Freer Farm and rotational work placement on farms in the North-West.
Tasmania is the perfect training base for the farmers as it has similar environmental conditions to Biei. Tasmania’s reputation as a clean, green and high quality source of food is also important to JA Biei.
It is hoped that the MOU is the initial step towards a long-term agricultural collaboration between JA Biei and Tasmania that will bring benefits to both Tasmania and Biei and potentially more future exchange programs.
Through this partnership there are also potential opportunities for Tasmania to learn more about Japanese crops such as daikon, lilybulbs, honeyberries and cold- climate melons.
(From Tasmanian Government media release - 1 March 2017)