Community Development by
Leveraging Local Treasures Iwate-
Machi, Iwate-Gun, Iwate

Iwate-machi is surrounded by rich nature and has thrived through agriculture and animal husbandry since ancient times.
As the environment surrounding food and agriculture changes with the times, producers continue to introduce new varieties and locally based product development.
This article presents the attractive features of Iwate-machi’s foods, which are nurtured by the blessings of nature.

Iwate-machi, Iwate-gun is located nearly in the center of Iwate Prefecture. It is the only town in Japan for which the name of the prefecture, county, and town are the same. With a population of about 13,000 and the 40th parallel north running through the town, Iwate-machi is home to the source of the grand Kitakami River that flows southward across central Iwate Prefecture. Because of the high altitude, the mountainous areas have a large difference in temperature between day and night, allowing sweet crops to grow easily. The vast amount of land is also utilized to put cattle out to pasture.

In 2020, the Cabinet Office selected the town as an “SDGs Future City.” The entire town engages in sustainable community development.

This article introduces the rich selection of foods that Iwate-machi has nurtured as well as its efforts toward agriculture and livestock that makes the most of the natural environment.

Iwate-machi is developing a business model designed to enhance the town’s brand value by the three cultures of agriculture, sports, and handicrafts to pass down to the next generation.

Since I came into office in 2018, the town has adopted the SDGs as a basic policy for town development. For the agricultural sector, I advocate for the “establishment and upgrading of recycling-oriented, sustainable agricultural systems.” In Iwate-machi, many farmers have already made use of methods that take into consideration environmental preservation. I hope to bring the town together to develop even more environmentally-friendly producers.

Koji Sasaki, Iwate-machi Mayor