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タイトル: 沖縄・多良間島のサトウキビ農業の動態 : 天川部落農家群の変動を中心に
その他のタイトル: A Dynamic View of Sugar Cane Agriculture in Community of Tarama Island, Okinawa
著者: 永田, 淳嗣
著者(別言語): NAGATA, Junji
発行日: 1995年3月25日
出版者: 東京大学教養学部人文地理学研究室
掲載誌情報: 人文科学科紀要 人文地理学. 12, 1995.3.25, pp. 41-65
抄録: Sugar cane agriculture continues to exist in Okinawa based on its specific ecological conditions, that is, the humid subtropical coral islands, and its peculiar political-economic situation, that is, the peripheral area of one advanced capitalistic economy. Although it is one of the typical industries and the dominant form of resource use in Okinawa, its productivity and its technology remains at a lower level until now. It has been already more than 20 years since Okinawa was returned to Japan in 1972, but its production are fluctuating sharply year by year depending on the weather conditions, which endangers the livelihood of rural communities by fits and starts. Such a situation is more critical in the isolated islands where the sugar industry remains almost their sole source of income. Tarama Island, which is located about 350 km southwest of the main island of Okinawa: presents a good example. The sugar cane agriculture of Tarama Island from the mid-1960s to the mid - 1970s is characterized by extremely low output intensity and lower technology and it experienced overall contraction and disintensification which was observed in diminishing land and labor inputs and stagnation of capital investment. Under these circumstances at the time of the 1971 severe drought the unprecedented scale of out-migration and abandonment of the cultivated land had occurred and it threatened the continued existence of the rural community of Tarama Island. From the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s the situation reversed itself and the sugar cane agriculture of Tarama Island saw the rapid increase in production based on both the external expansion in size, that is, increases in land, labor, especially of younger generation, and capital devoted to the sugar cane agriculture, and the internal intensification, that is, increases in land, labor, and capital inputs per hectare, the improvement of the cultivation techniques, and the resultant rise in the output intensity. Such a drastic change was triggered by the expansion of the crushing capacity of the sugar mill which was approved by the Japanese government, and was accelerated by the steep raise in the guaranteed price for sugar cane. However, such an evolution pattern of the sugar cane agriculture of Tarama Island came to a deadlock in the mid-1980s facing the territorial limitation of the island ecosystem and the reconsideration of the guaranteed price for sugar cane by the Japanese government. Now the incomplete intensification of the sugar cane agriculture of Tarama Island, that is, the insufficiency of intensive use of land, labor, and capital devoted to the sugar cane agriculture has become a big problem. As to the stagnation of output intensity, delay in the renewal of cane varieties is no doubt one of the important factors, but also it should be noted that most of the sugar cane is still grown without irrigation on Tarama Island. Without irrigation, no matter how cultivation operations are improved and intensified, only limited success can be achieved. However, the implementation of irrigation is faced with both technological and economic problems (Nagata, 1992a). The crucial point here is that these kinds of technological innovations cannot be induced solely by the farmers'efforts. The entry into the sugar cane agriculture and the enlargement of the size of the enterprise is not so difficult because the sugar cane farming is relatively simple technically. In the case of Tarama Island the acquisition of farmland was also done smoothly through the informal social networks in the community. As a result, from the mid -1970s to the mid-I 980s on Tarama Island a number of average farm households which cultivate 200-400 ares of farmland with sugar cane and produce 70-160 tons each year. As long as favorable prices for sugar cane are offered, this size of enterprise is not so bad, but once the guaranteed price for sugar cane is held down this size is too small to make a proper profit. As to the introduction of expensive machinery such as large-sized tractor, the enriched institutional financing and subsidized projects after 1972 have enabled the farmers to introduce it more easily, consequently, the farmers have tended to attach the greater importance to convenience than to efficiency and as a result to overinvest in capital equipment. On Tarama island tractors is mainly operated through the informal social networks. Practically no efforts have been done to regulate the introduction and use of expensive machinery in terms of efficiency. Early in the 1990s the sugar cane agriculture of Tarama Island has developed into a critical condition again. Diminishing economic profitability of the sugar cane farming has brought about an outflow of labor force from the sugar cane agriculture. Especially it is applicable to the opportunistic younger generation particularly born in 1950s who contributed to the expansion of sugar cane agriculture from the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s. The imperfect substitution of capital for labor, particularly, the existence of strenuous work of manual harvest is also one of the negative factors. When the farmers of senior generation who were born in the latter half of the 1920s and in the first half of the 1930s retire from the sugar cane farming, if the mechanical harvesting is not realized and some problems related to its economic profitability are not resolved properly, the sugar cane agriculture of Tarama Island is expected to see a large scale of contraction as was observed in the first half of the 1970s.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2261/28730
出現カテゴリ:人文科学科紀要 人文地理学
人文科学科紀要 人文地理学

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