Regional economic development by utilizing food-industrial cluster: a case of Beni-Imo processing in Yomitan Village, Okinawa [Japan]
Goto, K. | Igata, M.
Sweet potato was imported to Japan approximately 400 years ago. Since then, sweet potato production and consumption have been widely extended. Recently, the demand of sweet potato has declined due to the influence of diversification of consumption habits. However, sweet potato is still considered as a significant crop in the4 upland farming in Southwest Japan. Moreover, the demand of sweet potato should be expanded to activate the production of both the development of various sweet potato products and coping with consumer need. The purpose of this paper is to examine the development of regional economic by utilizing food industrial cluster, the case of Yomitan village, Okinawa Prefecture. In Yomitan, food-industrial cluster system of 'Beni-imo' has been established. The Yomitan 'beni-imo' is a purple sweet potato that has purple flesh. Currently, purple sweet potato is widely used for primary and secondary processes. In order to promote such interaction and collaboration by crossing sectors, the flame of food industrial cluster system is required. The findings show the importance of interactive relation towards harmonious coexistence between sectors in the promotion of commodities and services. In Yomitan village, since the beginning of 90s, local chamber of commerce and industry, agricultural cooperative and the local government have promoted 'beni-imo' production as a local revitalization project. They also requested confectionaries to conduct an experiment on 'beni-imo' products. In addition, 'beni-imo' products became popular as gifts and souvenirs of Okinawa. Furthermore, Yomitan 'beni-imo' consultant was established to certify the quality from different potato materials. The consultant certifies production records and handling by unification that gives advantages to 'beni-imo' producers. The important aspect of this experience is the establishment of certification system and the share of common values by agriculture, manufacturing and commercial sectors. Finally, the coordinator is also an important function to consider for a successful implementation systems.Show more [+] Less [-]
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