Farmers have launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise public awareness
Farmers in Hokkaido, Japan, were looking to bridge the gap between consumers and farmers following increasing problems from trespassers unaware they were on private land.
In the scenic rural area of Biei, tourists were entering farmland without permission looking to get the perfect photograph, causing damage to crops and property in the process.
With 1.6 million visitors to Hokkaido every year and associated issues escalating, farmers were forced to act.
In a move which has drawn similarities with Farmers Guardian’s Take the Lead initiative, farmers started a crowdfunding campaign to help educate visitors about the land and who it belongs to, in a bid to increase public awareness about farming and the countryside.
The project - Protecting the Countryside, Creating Harmony Between Visitors and Farmers! Making Biei the Best Place it can be - launched on May 27 and reached its initial target in just three days.
The funding will be used for signs, stating who owns the farm, with a QR code which allows the visitor to donate directly to the farmer, alongside other information to educate the tourists.
Money will also be used to create 3 special photo spots that will allow for visitors to take scenic photos without trespassing and causing harm to the fields and a website.
Tomoki Onishi, a farmer in the area and founder of the campaign, said: “At the moment while there is an increase of visitors to our area, we farmers are only seeing an increase of risk and stress.
"This is because visitors do not know they are not allowed to enter our farmlands.
“We hope creating signs which allow visitors, not just from Japan but all over the world, to both learn more about the farmlands and help support the farmers, will be beneficial to us and the visitors."