Categorized | Agriculture

Japanese farmer aided by Kona coffee farmers

Special to Hawaii 24/7

Nobuyuki Sekimoto, a fruit farmer, has received the funds collected by the Kona Coffee Farmers Association to assist Japanese farmers harmed by the devastating tsunami and subsequent nuclear plant failures that struck Fukushima Prefecture in March.

Radiation from the Dai-ichi nuclear plant contaminated the soil of Sekimoto’s large fruit farm in Okuma, ending 100 years and four generations of farm production.

The farm was known for its high quality produce and environmentally sustainable horticulture. Fourteen varieties of pears were cultivated along with kiwi.

Sekimoto took great pride in his eco-culture and the many awards for the fruit produced on his farm and now must find land in another area suitable for producing high quality pears and other fruit.

In the meantime, Sekimoto is helping a friend develop an 8 acre organic rice farm. He has also taken a job measuring and recording radioactivity in six locations in three prefectures.

Although he is happy to have a job, Sekimoto is anxious to return to farming and greatly appreciates the $3,300 that was donated to him by Kona coffee farmers.

KCFA member Page Trygstad said “This is an example of farmers helping farmers and human beings helping human beings. Personally while accepting donations at two farmers’ markets I experienced great humility when several times Japanese visitors to Hawaii saw the display and came up to thank me and KCFA for the fund raising effort.”

The Kona Coffee Farmers Association is a volunteer, non-profit, community-based organization of coffee farmers with the mission to promote and protect the economic interests of Kona coffee farmers who grow and sell 100% Kona coffee and to seek greater legal protection of the Kona coffee name.

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