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4th International Conference Organic Rice Farming and Production Systems

The 21th International Symposium of the Integrated Field Science Center 

Tohoku University Sendai - Japan
September 4 th – 7 th , 2023

This conference will be held at the conference room and online at the same time.

Language: Japanese and English.
Simultaneous or consecutive interpretation will be provided.

Participation fee: Free
Field trip and lunch fee separately

A Statement of the 4th International Symposium on Organic Rice Production System held on 4 th – 7th September 2023 in Sendai, Japan

Following the World trends
In Asian, European, and American countries, rice is grown in various natural and socio-economic environments. Rice cultivation contributes to food production and provides  multiple services such as flood control, soil conservation, wetland protection, water  purification, landscapes and ecosystem conservation. However, inputs applied to rice fields,  such as pesticides and chemical fertilizers directly impact the watershed.
Many countries have set policy goals to promote organic farming, including the recent implementation of the Strategy for Sustainable Food Systems in Japan and the Farm to Fork  Strategy in the European Union (EU). Holistic approaches toward sustainable agrifood systems are now a global trend. Although the published targets for reducing the use of  pesticides and chemical fertilizers and increasing the percentage of area under organic farming are ambitious, the proactive engagement and dedication of the agricultural sector,  with the support of the entire nation, is required. Therefore, consumers’ actions and public  support are vital initiatives for change. Moreover, boosting efforts to promote and support  rice farming, which accounts for most of the arable land, is crucial to significantly increasing  Japan’s organic cultivation area. Regional presentations from abroad showed a significant increase in organically  managed rice fields. This symposium became an important opportunity for researchers,  producers, consumers, and other stakeholders to establish international collaborations.

Holistic management
Transplant cultivation is mainly practiced in East Asia, while direct seeding cultivation is a common practice in the rest of the world. However, the goal of cultivating  healthy and robust rice crops through properly managing flooding, drainage, and water depth is similar worldwide. In organic rice cultivation, weed control is a common issue across the  world's diverse organic rice cultivation systems. A variety of best practices are being developed around the world to improve the ecological health of rice fields. 
Organic rice production is a system that combines a variety of techniques that producers acquire through trial and error under various economic conditions and production  environments and a holistic management of the field ecosystem. Regular monitoring of the  field condition and its environment, developing strategies for weed control and fertilization  management, and taking countermeasures to respond to yearly changes in weather in accordance with the unique characteristics of the field and field environment are vital. Taking  advantage of the functions of diverse living organisms, organic rice cultivation should not only  be considered labor-intensive, but also represent a knowledge-intensive agricultural model. 

Acquisition of situated knowledge
The key is not to spread technology and knowledge developed in experimentation centers and research institutions, as demonstrated in the successful example of technology  dissemination during the Green Revolution, but to acquire situated knowledge and support  how to obtain it. A new agroecological approach that allows producers, researchers, and  various stakeholders to work together through diverse communication and networks, like  participatory research and living labs that combine research and practice, is required. Moreover, Information and Communication Technology (ICT) in agriculture is  expected to contribute significantly to developing organic rice cultivation. ICT in organic rice  cultivation will be a tool for understanding and dealing with the complex and diverse field ecosystem, unlike automation and standardization in agriculture in general. 

One health and organic rice production system
According to cohort studies on the consumption of organic and non-organic foods and their respective effects on health and the environment, regular consumption of organic  foods reduces the risk of lifestyle-related diseases and the environmental impact of food. An  organic rice-based system that pursues the health of people and the health of livestock and  soil through integrated crop-livestock farming systems enables the circulation of local  resources and enhances the health of the rice paddy ecosystem. Moreover, the relationship between agriculture and the region is extremely close. Thus, identifying common denominators among agricultural production, ecosystems, and  human health and comparing efforts and best practices among countries and regions may  solve local problems and eventually address global issues. 

Thinking of scalability of organic rice production systems
To further expand the organic rice production system, the bottom-up approach with horizontal collaboration rooted in the region is more appropriate rather than a top-down  approach led by the government. Moreover, there is a need to implement outscaling in which  each production system based on the characteristics of the field and region is highly  considered, rather than through upscaling, which involves updating production systems with newly developed technologies. We learned about exemplary organic rice farming in the Camargue region in France,  the Central Valley in California, the Po River basin in Italy, tidal wetlands in Kerala, India andIndonesia. These farms conserve wetlands that foster rich biodiversity. Meanwhile, family  farms that cultivate organic rice from a few to tens of hectares are emerging in Japan. Suppose  these developments in various regions eventually establish a vast complex of several hundred hectares of organic rice fields. In that case, we expect to see a rice field-wetland ecosystem  that can coexist with a wide variety of creatures. Therefore, we should design a future fororganic rice farming based on existing interdisciplinary scientific and practical knowledgewhile overcoming immediate challenges in production and business.
We wish to support the establishment of an organic rice network to foster technologyand knowledge through interaction between producers, encourage participatory breeding ofvarieties suitable for organic cultivation, and engage in interdisciplinary research inagriculture, agroecology, social and human science, medicine, etc. on complex and cross disciplinary issues surrounding organic rice production systems, including agroecosystems,quality of organic rice, human health, and consumption.

ORP4 Scientific Committee

Time schedule

2023 March Call for Abstracts for 0ral and Poster Presentations
 April   Start of Registration
MayDeadline of Abstract Submission
June Notification of Abstract Status
July Deadline of Paper Submission
  September  4th (Mon)  PM Session
                   5th(Tue)  Field Trip
                   6th(Wed)AM/PM Session
 ※We will have a reception and we will enjoy dishes made with local organic ingredients from
18:00 on September 6th (3,000 yen per person)                
                  7th(Thu)              AM Session

The conference aims to stimulate and foster exchanges between scientists, rice growers and other stakeholders in the organic rice production and commercialization chain. These exchanges, focused
on organic rice production in different regions throughout the world, will be organized to
1) collect and assess practical knowledge and functions of current organic rice production systems,
2) discover applied innovations and identify obstacles that hinder further development of the systems,
3) analyze the impact of different types of organic rice production on food quality, health, and the environment,
4) strengthen the international innovation network on sustainable rice production,
5) explore the issues, levels, and consequences of a scale shift toward the mainstreaming of organic agriculture throughout the agri-food chain.

Background of the International Symposium on Organic Rice Production Systems:
The 1st International Symposium on Organic Rice Production Systems was held in September 2012  by the Montpellier Center of the French National Agricultural Research Institute. Since 2000, the center has been conducting participatory research in collaboration with farmers, focusing on 
promoting organic rice in the Camargue region, which extends to the delta at the mouth of the  Rhone River. With the shared recognition of its participants towards the importance of promoting and encouraging international comparisons of organic rice production systems based on collaborative research outputs, succeeding symposiums were held in various locations: 2nd International Symposium in Milan, Italy, in September 2015 in the framework of the International EXPO Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life; and 3rd International Symposium in Porto Alegre, Brazil, in March 2018. 
The 4th International Symposium was initially scheduled for August-September 2021 but waseventually postponed due to the Covid 19 pandemic, and related travel restrictions for both local and international participants.



The 4th International Conference on Organic Rice Farming and Production Systems (ORP4) Scientific Committee welcomes abstract submissions for oral, poster and video presentations.
All abstracts should be written in English or in Japanese.

Oral/Poster/Video Presentations
The conference will have plenary sessions only. An oral presentation in the plenary session is scheduled for 15 minutes. A video presentation should be recorded in advance within 15 minutes.

Reviewing and Acceptance
All submitted abstracts will be reviewed by the conference committee which will decide those that will be accepted, and of those, which will be for oral, poster or video presentation based on their overall quality, impact, and relevance to the conference.

An abstract should be written in English within 2 pages according to the attached template below. Please send the abstract to conference email (orp2023@grp.tohoku.ac.jp) on or before 31 May 2023. If you have any inquiries, please contact us.

After the presentation, authors have the option to submit their extended abstract for publication in the Journal of Integrated Field Science of Tohoku University.  

Click here and download abstract template .

Scientific Committee

Jean-Marc Barbier (Agronomy, French National Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, Montpellier, France),
Stefano Bocchi (Agroecology, University of Milan, Italy),
Raymond Epp (Farmer, Menno Village, Japan),
Kazumasa Hidaka (Agroecology, Ehime University, Japan),
Koki Honma (Crop Science, Tohoku University, Japan),
Keiichi Ishii (Rural Economics, Tohoku University, Japan),
Nobuhiro Kaneko (Soil science, Fukushima University, Japan),
Masakazu Komatsuzaki (Agronomy, Ibaraki University, Japan),
Naoya Matsudaira (Rural economics, Kyoto University, Japan),
Takuya Mineta (Agronomy, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Japan)
Shigenori Miura (Agronomy, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Japan),
Joji Muramoto (Agroecology, University of California, Santa Cruz, USA),
Jean-Claude Mouret (Agronomy, French National Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment, Montpellier, France),
Yoshiaki Nishikawa (Rural Economics, Ryukoku University, Japan),
Mizuhiko Nishida (Soil Science, Tohoku University, Japan),
Sanae Sawanobori (Agroecology, Keisen University, Japan),
Yudhvir Singh (Agronomy, Indian Agricultural Research Institute, India),
Nina N. Shimoguchi (Rural Economics, Tokyo University of Agriculture, Japan),
Tanaka Atsushi(Policy Research Institute, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.),
Hiroyuki Yasue (Rural Economics, National Agriculture and Food Research Organization, Japan)
Douglas George De Oliveira (Agronomy, Santa Catarina State Institution for Agricultural Research and Rural Extension, Brazil)

Organizational Committee

Atsuko Shigihara(Tohoku University)
Kunpei Hayashi (Fukushima University)
Koki Honma (Tohoku University)
Tomoko Imoto (Tohoku University)
Keiichi Ishii (Tohoku University)
Katsuhito Fuyuki(Tohoku University)
Masakazu Komatsuzaki (Ibaraki University)
Yuan Meng (Tohoku University)
Takuya Mineta (National Agriculture and Food Research Organization)
Mizuhiko Nishida (Tohoku University)
Nina N. Shimoguchi (Tokyo University of Agriculturen)
Hiroyuki Yasue (National Agriculture and Food Research Organization) 

Our Contacts

Dr.Keiichi Ishii


Tohoku University
Graduate school of Agricultural Science
Aoba-468-1 Aramaki, Aoba Ward, Sendai, Miyagi ,Japan 980-0845


TEL. 81-22-757-4208