Greetings from President

Naoshi Kondo, President of JSAM

JSAM, Japanese Society of Agricultural Machinery and Food Engineers became a general incorporated association in April 2019.  On July 13 we held our first general meeting since incorporation, by doing so our society has taken the first steps towards building higher credibility, trustworthiness and competency in the greater international community, enabling us to form new linkages and agreements with other societies and incorporated associations.  Simultaneously, we will maintain a tight knit relationship with our five local societies; the previous 5 branches of our society: Hokkaido, Tohoku, Kanto, Kansai, and Kyushu, continuously striving to contribute to both local and international solutions to the Food-Environment issues the world currently confronts.

Another innovative change this fiscal year has been the establishment of a “overseas member” category; further internationalizing our society.  This membership is open to individuals who live outside Japan and do not have need for Japanese language journals.  We will encourage “overseas members” to work together with national members from industry, government and academia to not only solve Food-Environment issues, but also to support education in their own countries.  JSAM also aims to encourage younger “overseas members” to attend the JSAM annual meeting by providing travel support.  This will complement the financial support JSAM provides to younger national members to present at international conferences.  In addition, “overseas members” can take advantage of the advanced technologies of Japanese industry member’s documented on our home website every two months, in lieu of the Japanese language journal, as well as free access to our English electronic journal EAEF (Engineering in Agriculture, Environment and Food), which is edited by AABEA (Asian Agricultural and Biological Engineering Association) members.  We hope this will encourage the flourishing of communication between “overseas members” and our national members in industry, government and academia for a long time to come.

Eighty years has elapsed since JSAM was founded in 1937.  As part of our 80th anniversary events, we are publishing this fiscal year a new handbook edited by our members. This has been preceded by handbooks issued in 1957, 1969, 1984, and 1996.  From the handbooks, you can learn about the historical activities of JSAM.  Technologies and research themes covered to date include:

1) Foundation to 1960s (Age of Mechanization)

Engines for agricultural machinery, tractors, combine harvesters, rice transplanters, and other machines

2) 1970s to 1990s (Age of Automatization and Robotization)

Physical properties and quality measurements of agricultural products, non-destructive monitoring, a series of vegetable machines, and grading systems

3) 2000s to Present (Age of Informatization and Diversification)

Precision agriculture, livestock and aquaculture, remote sensing, ICT, functional ingredient measurement in agricultural products and foods, and bio-sensing

We have four technical committees in JSAM to discuss new technologies and encourage member cooperation/coordination in these research fields:

1)  Agricultural machinery

2)  IT-Mechatronics

3)  Food engineering

4)  Biological resource

Any members interested in the above topics are encouraged to join these technical committees; while any of these committees can be discontinued and new ones established depending on the needs of JSAM members.  Each of these committees also holds symposiums and/or meetings related to their topics every year to encourage discussion between not only JSAM members, but also with non-JSAM members.  We hope these activities will nurture member participation and stimulate academic curiosity.

Key technologies driving current developments and innovation in agriculture include “Smart Agriculture, AI, IoT, ICT, and RT”; these technologies represent a great opportunity to enhance the activities of JSAM members.  As our research fields become more internationalized and diversified, closer and more in depth discussions with people and organizations, both nationally and internationally, are needed in order to meet the global Food-Environment issues facing us, as well as customize these technologies to local requirements.  I really wish to encourage any person who is interested in our activities to join JSAM and contribute to world food production by joining together with us in this effort.