The Gebr. Valstar in de Lier welcomed some important visitors last week: the Japanese Vice Minister of Economic Affairs visited the company, not only to discuss the development of horticulture in Japan, but to actually green light the construction of a 2.5-hectare Dutch-Japanese horticultural company in the Japanese prefecture of Miyagi.
Vice minister Akaba visits greenhouse in De Lier - photo by Yvonne Lagerwerf
A little over three years ago, the Japanese province of Sendai was devastated by a tsunami. Since then Dutch horticulture, stirred by Rob Baan, is investigating how horticulture can contribute to the reconstruction of the region. After several visits, the Japanese Minister of Agriculture designated a number of areas for the development of modern horticulture. Last Friday's go-ahead for the first project means that the brothers Valstar and Vijverberg Advice, together with Japan Euro Promotions and a group of Japanese businessmen, can commence with construction.
Pepper, tomato and propagation
The greenhouse will be built in the Miyagi prefecture, near the town of Ishinomaki. The area has been severely affected by the earthquake in 2011 and the land is now brackish. But there are more challenges to face in the area, including typhoons, earthquakes and heavy snowfall. "Building and construction are definitely a challenge," says Remko Bakelaar, one of the initiators of the project.
The collaboration with the Westland has been very important for the realization of this project, says Bakelaar. “If you don’t get the support of the municipality, prefecture and the state, you won’t make it in Japan.” In recent years several high-ranking Japanese politicians visited the Westland and the nursery, culminating in a visit by Prime Minister Abe. "He visited the Anne Frank House and a glasshouse company, which I think indicates how high horticulture is on the agenda in Japan."
Remko BakelaarVijverberg Advies
Oude Liermolenweg 2
2678 MN De Lier
Tel. +31 (0) 174 610 586
Fax +31 (0) 174 648 firstname.lastname@example.org