Yasuo Takamura


  • Yasuo Takamura
  • Emeritus Professor
  • Crop science, Agricultural Ecology / Indigenous agriculture in Africa / Livelihood structure, Productivity of indigenous agriculture, Zambia - Chitemene, Tanzania - Ngoro, Ghana - mound cultivation

Research Summary

■ Africa-related research (1988 to 1998)

I studied “slash-and-burn” system of agriculture (chitemene)practiced by Bemba-speaking people in Zambia’s sparse-forest, Mionbo and “pit cultivation” system of agriculture”(ngoro) practiced by Matengo speaking people on the rolling hill slopes of Mupika destrict in Tanzania from an agroecological perspective. (1) Chitemene agriculture: I evaluated the degree of local adaptation of indigenous agricultural methods by examining the size of swidden plots per household, planting systems, as well as the ratio of dry matter yield to which invested before planting crops. During this period, I cultivated a test chitemene with the help of the villagers and conducted a variety of experiments including a comparison of yield performance of an indigenous finger millet cultivars vs a newly bred one.In the meantime,graduate student Mr.Shuichi Oyama performed a quantitative analysis of “standing crops” of miombo in the area where chitemene has been practiced in the different years before, using the satellite images with Normalized Difference Vegetation Index(NDVI) and evaluated the sustainability of miombo woodland . (2) Ngoro agriculture: Cooperating with Sokoine University of Agriculture, governmental agencies of Mbinga district, I and many Japanese experts in agriculture and anthropologyevaluated the advantages of Ngoro agriculture system and also helped with a integrated reform plan for further development of rural communities.*
*Agroecological survey of the miombo forest belt in Tanzania: Yasuo Takamura, along with other individuals associated with the Africa Center, were involved in the launch and operation of JICA’s inter-university cooperation support project (1994 to 1997). In 1999, after conclusion of the project, the SUA Centre for Sustainable Rural Development (SCSRD) was established at the Sokoine University of Agriculture.

■ Prior to Africa-related research (1957 to 1988)

I conducted agronomic research related to the ambient temperature of paddy field and its effect on growing rice as well as research on mat rush (Juncus effusus), which is used as a raw material as tatami mats surface. I also conducted to evaluate the potential of sugar cane dry matter and its fodder production in a temperate zone of Japan and meantime, I was engaged in fieldworks on sago palm (Metroxylon sagu) in Indonesia to realize and publicizethe potential of this plant species as a tropical resource.


Reports of Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research

  • 1974.Agriculture and Cultivated Plants in Bolivia - A Preliminary Observation- A preliminary report of the Kyoto University Scientific Expedition to the Latin America, 1972-1973, Ⅱ.(pp 25~27). ed.Masatake Tanaka. Plant Germ-plasm Institute, Fac. of Agriculture, Kyoto Univ.
  • 1980.Ancient Rice Grains Recovered from Ruins in Burma(Ⅱ) -A study on the alteration of cultivated rice Report of Kyoto Univ. Scientific Survey to India and Burma 1978/79. (pp.5~23)ed. Tadayo Watabe. Kyoto Univ.


  • 2003.Towards Sustainable Agriculture Development in Africa. Keynote Presentation. In Proceedings of the AICAD Seminar on Agriculture, Food and Water in Africa ‐Policy and Practice-(pp.14~15). ed. African Institute for Capacity Development(AICAD), Japan International Cooperation Agency(JICA)
  • 2003. SUA Method Concept and Case Studies. SUA Center for Sustainable Rural Deveropment (SCSRD) Sokoine University of Agriculsure and Japan International Cooperation Agency. Pp181.
  • 1998. Integrated Agro-ecological Research of the Miombo Woodklannds in Tanzanial. Final Report. Faculty of Agriculture, Sokoine University of Agriculsure, Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University and JICA.pp.413
  • 2001. Agrarian Changes and Cooping Strategies for Subsistence of Bemba. Shifting Cultivators in Northern Zambia in the Mid-1990’s. Jpn.J.Trop.Agr. 45:84-97. (with Oyama,S.)
  • 1999. How to integrate conventional and new cropping systems in African Agriculture: Case studies in Tanzania and Zambia. In Proc. Intl. Symposium “World Food Security and Crop Production Technologies for Tomorrow” (p105-108) (with Oyama,S.)
  • 1998. Sugarcane Production, Processing and Marketing in Tanzania. ASM 19:1-41.(with A.J.P.Tarimo.)
  • 1994. Review of Sisal Production and Research in Tanzania. ASM 15:227-247. (with D.N.Kimaro, B.M.Msanya)

Articles related to Crop Science Society of Japan and Japanese Society for Tropical Agriculture

<Crop Science Society of Japan>
≪Growth and cultivation of paddy rice≫
In the 1950s, the practice of planting paddy rice earlier—i.e.“early season culture of paddy”—became widely adopted in Japan as a means of avoiding damage from typhoons and insect pests. This change in cultivation period was to be accompanied by changes in ambient temperature of paddy fields, I investigated, in special, the influence of irrigation water and soil temperature on growing rice plant. Thereafter, I continued research on various subjects as the impact of Cu and Zn contamination by wastewater from a metal plating plant on growth and yield of rice plant, and the productive structure of rice plant communities under the different cultivation methods as direct sowing and transplanting. In addition, at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines, I observed the fluctuation in soil and the ambient temperature of different monthly transplanted paddy fields in Los Banos to elucidate the difference of thermal condition of the paddy fields in tropics and Japan.

  • 1989.Growth Response of Rice(Oryza sativa L.) to Drought. 1. Varietal difference in growth rate, nitrogen uptake and tillering habit at vegetative stage. Jap.Jour.Crop Sci.58:740-747.with Ichwantoari, T.Ogo & M.Tsuchiya.
  • 1988. Varietal difference of water use behavior in rice plants. Proceeding of Jap. Crop. Science Society in Chugoku District. 29:10-11. with Ichwantoari, M.Tsuchiya,Y.Ohno
≪Mat rush≫
Crop Research Lab, Faculty of Agriculture at Okayama University was conducting the physiological and ecological research in mat rush (Juncus effusus L.), the traditional fiber crop for“tatami” mats, to elucidate its better growing performance to gain much products with high quality. I cooperated in these research in the mid 1980’s and I also searched into very specific diurnal changes in CO2 concentration and air temperature within mat rush canopy. Unfortunately, mat rush cultivationhas since almostdisappeared from these Chugoku region.

<Japanese Society for Tropical Agriculture>
≪Sugar cane≫
Based on the belief that sugar cane shall be cultivated in the warm temperate zones of Japan not only as a sugar crop but also as a fodder crop, I assessed the productivity of early-transplanted sugar cane atKyoto University Subtropical Plant Experiment Station (currently the Field Science Education and Research Center at the Kii-Oshima Research Station) located in Kushimoto at the southernmost point of the Japanese mainland. Thereafter at Okayama University in Okayama, I compared the development of sugar cane varieties with different growth habits and evaluated sugar yield and also Dry Matter Digestbility as a fodder by invitro cellulase method.

  • 1994.Growth and Dry Matter Pr oductivity of Sugar Cane in Warm Temperate Zone of Japan 4. Effect of air temperature on young plant growth and photosynthetic rate at the active-tillering stage and late growth stage. Jpn.J.Trop.Agr.38:335-342.with H.Ehara & M.Tsuchiya.
  • 1994.Growth and Dry Matter Productivity of Sugar Cane in Warm Temperate Zone of Japan  3.Type of sugar cane suitable for forage production. Jpn.J.Trop.Agr.38:51-58.with H.Ehara & M.Tsuchiya.
  • 1986.Growth and Dry Matter Productivity of Sugar Cane in Warm Temperate Zone of Japan 2. Evaluation of Dry Matter Digestibility of Sugar Cane. Jpn.J.Trop.Agr.30:257-263.with H.Nakano.
  • 1985.Evaluation of Digestible Dry Matter Production of Sugar Cane in Warm Temperate Zone of Japan. Proc. Intl. Grassland Congress ⅩⅤ: 1031-1033. with H.Nakano.
  • 1981.Growth and Dry Matter Productivity of Sugar Cane in Warm Temperate Zone of Japan  JARQ Vol.15.No.1:1-6.with T.Watabe.
The Society of Sago Palm Studies
≪Sago Palm≫
Sago palm is a tree species that stores starch in its trunk whose present habitat covers Indonesia, New Guinea, and tropical islands of the Pacific. Identified as a potential food crop that can be grown in coastal areas of the tropics where cultivation of general crops is difficultThe Japanese Society for Tropical Agriculture established a research group on Sago palms and began plant ecological research related to the sago palm in the late 1970sand the subsequent 30-year period saw the accumulation of a large quantity of research on the semi-domesticated sago palm. During this period, I conducted field research on and widely publicized the need for research on sago palms. In addition, I conducted an experiment to transplantseedlings of sago palm from Indonesia to Tanzania.

  • 2007.Introduction of Sago Palm Seeds and Seedlings into Tanzania. Proc. 9th Intl. SAGO Symposium:p.30. withH.Ehara, H.Naito, A.J.P.Trimo & M.H.Bintoro (at OrmocCity , Leyte,Philippines)
  • 2006.Introduction of Sago Palm Seeds and Seedlings into Tanzania. SAGO PALM 14:65-71. with H.Ehara, H.Naito, A.J.P.Trimo & M.H.Bintoro
  • 2005.Sago Palm (Metroxylon sagu Rottb.) Cultivation Trial in Tanzania, Africa. Proc. 8th Intl. SAGO Symposium: 123-134.with A.J.P.Trimo, H.Ehara, H.Naito, & M.H.Bintoro.
  • 2002. Introducing the Sago Palm (Metroxylon sagu L.) to Tanzania. In New Frontiers of Sago Palm Studies. Proc. Intl. Symposium on SAGO (SAGO 2001):69-74. With A.Tarimo, H.Runkulatile & K.Osozawa. Universal Academy Press,INC.-Tokyo,Japan
  • 2002. The background and Process of Introducing Sago Palms to Tanazania. In New Frontiers of Sago Palm Studies. Proc. Intl. Symposium on SAGO (SAGO 2001): 293-296. with A.Tarimo. Universal Academy Press,INC.-Tokyo,Japan
  • 1990.The Varietal Diversity of Sago Palm and its Importance for Development as a Genetic Resource. Proc. 4th Intl. SAGO Symposium: pp.46-50. (at Kuchin,Sarawaku,Malaysia.

Book reviwes

  • 1968.A Book Review of “Glutinous Rice in Thailand” by Dr.T.Watabe. Japan Agriculture Research Quarterly Vol.3:38-39. Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry.