There is a growing movement to use this "aquaponics" to simultaneously achieve sustainable agriculture and employment promotion for the disabled and the elderly. The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries also encourages the “Agriculture and Welfare Collaboration” project, which combines agriculture and welfare to expand social participation. Aquaponics, which facilitates the easy participation of disabled and elderly people as workers, is expected to play a leading role in this field.
Akponi (Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture), whose vision is to “make the earth and people happy with aquaponics,” is one of the first companies in Japan to specialize in the aquaponics business. It deals with farm plans and unit-type systems, and has many achievements in introducing systems as a business with a view to collaboration between agriculture and welfare at facilities for people with disabilities all over the country.
One of the companies that Akuponi has cooperated with, " AGRIKO FARM ", which opened on the roof of " OGAWA COFFEE LABORATORY Sakurashinmachi " in Setagaya Ward, Tokyo in April last year, is also working on a collaboration between agriculture and welfare as an aquaponics farm. AGRIKO (Setagaya-ku, Tokyo), which is managed by the company, is headed by actor Ryoko Kobayashi.
Mr. Kobayashi believes that for the future of agriculture, it is necessary to create an environment where everyone, including people with disabilities and the elderly, can work without borders. Ta. At "AGRIKO FARM Sakurashinmachi", we hold hands-on workshops as needed for people with disabilities who wish to work in agriculture and match them with companies. This is a mechanism to support employment by introducing human resources suitable for agriculture and renting out plots of farms to companies that must fulfill their obligations under the employment system for persons with disabilities. In an interview with J-STORIES, Mr. Kobayashi said, "In order to ensure that they can continue to work for a long time, we carefully match each person while assessing their aptitude. I would like companies to promote the employment of people with disabilities through this system." talk.
At the farm, honmoroko and tilapia are cultivated, and vegetables such as herbs are grown at the same time, which are served as part of the lunch course at the cafe on the first floor. "It goes beyond local production for local consumption, so to speak, 'produced in buildings for consumption.' One of our strengths is that we can grow and farm a small variety of items that the chef wants, so there is no waste," says Mr. Kobayashi.