In this section, I would like to introduce successful examples of rural development strategies from around the world. One village should have at least one village development plan. The village’s economic development should be sustained by locally rooted products. Let’s see what plans have been made in various villages. Also, what products they have made, how they have marketed those products, and how they have been (Be) Empowered with Available Resources. Let’s BEAR!
Nambu, with a population of about 20,000, is located in the northern tip of the Japanese mainland. It is famous for varieties of fruit such as cherries, apples, plums, persimmons, grapes, and peaches. Local people are proud of such a wide variety of fruit, saying “All kinds of fruit are available in Nambu except oranges and bananas!” In Nambu, the beautiful landscape with a lot of orchards, mountains and a river is soothing to people’s hearts.
Umaji Village, which is located in Kochi Prefecture, Japan, used to flourish with forestry. The older generations planted a lot of trees for their children and grandchildren. At present approximately 96% of the village is covered with forests. Forestry management is important in order to preserve the natural environment.
In the Ocho area, Hiroshima, Japan, a local festival is held in February in order to promote the local industry and culture, in collaboration among several major local organizations. In the festival, the citrus farmers’ association holds a citrus exhibition, and varieties (about 10 varieties) of citrus are exhibited at the venue.
The Local Production Local Consumption Model is the most simple market linkage pattern in which products produced by local people are sold in local markets. Some producers sell fresh fruits and vegetables directly from the farms to the street or local markets. Others sell products after processing their fresh produce. The latter examples often include traditional local food which has taken root in the area and has been loved by local people for a long period of time.
“The Tourism Promotion Model” is a model where rural development and micro and small enterprise (MSE) development approaches are combined. In this model, any resource could be regarded as a tourism product, including natural, cultural, historical, and human resources, specifically: agricultural, forestry, and marine products, mountains, rivers, lakes, the sky, stars, beautiful scenery, historical sites, museums, cultural events, ethnic dancing, ethnic clothes, local people’s traditional techniques, and their hospitality. In other words, the local life itself could be a tourism product.