In the wake of the 2011 tsunami, a delegation of Dutch entrepreneurs visited Japan last month. The visits included a Japanese horticultural fair, and the Miyagi region, where horticulture is in development. 

Dutch horticultural entrepreneur Rob Baan sees not only destruction, but also huge tracts of flat land and the possibilities these can offer to the horticultural sector. "If there is a chance for a new area, it is now," says Remko Bakelaar of Vijverberg Advice. He is a consultant on the new project. Koppert Cress, the Dutch Westland, Mr. Gotoh of Japan Euro Promotions are committed to bring a group of affected growers to the Netherlands.

“Japanese horticulture is small and scattered. The country is not self-sufficient," notes Bakelaar. "It can be in time, but that's a long process."

Sendai Horti Experience

A concrete plan to come out of the project so far is the realisation of the Sendai Horti Experience. The complex involves a greenhouse of ten hectares, divided into several blocks and suitable to lead growers to forming an independent company. The Experience will have room for presentations and pilots, technical training and cultivation information. The costs should be borne by the Japanese government and the entrepreneurs themselves. In the project, several Dutch suppliers are involved. For cultivation advice, Wibo Valstar of gebr E & W Valstar has also been pretty well established in Japan. However, when the construction can commence is not yet known. "We still need a piece of land. Many politicians say it is a good idea, but to actually get started needs a little more work,” says Bakelaar.

But there is more. The Japanese Minister of Agriculture, Hayashi, is planning to develop five areas into larger horticultural complexes with space for several Horti Experiences. "The development of Japan as horticultural country goes beyond a mere crop and a greenhouse. Maintenance, service and supply of raw materials should be centralized," says Bakelaar.

For more information:
Remko Bakelaar
Vijverberg Advies
Oude Liermolenweg 2
2678 MN De Lier
The Netherlands
Tel. +31 (0) 174 610 586
Fax +31 (0) 174 648 736