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Systèmes Ingénieux du Patrimoine Agricole Mondial (SIPAM)

Managing Aso Grasslands for Sustainable Agriculture

Summary

The Aso Grasslands are located in Aso region of Kumamoto Prefecture, which situates in the middle of the Kyushu Island in Japan. Aso region spreads around active volcanic craters and huge caldera. The Aso volcano has one of the world’s largest caldera stretching 18 km from east to west and 25 km from north to south. Even though the volcanic soil and geographic conditions are not suitable for cultivation, local people have, for generations, adapted themselves to this challenging environment. They have made improvements to the volcanic soil of the cold uplands and started cultivation by creating paddies and dry fields for farming, and also grasslands for pastures for grazing and mowing. Thus today, we have a variety of agriculture flourishing in this area, such as rice farming, outdoor vegetable horticulture, greenhouse horticulture, stockbreeding and so on.