Economic Development Capitalizing on Brand Agriculture: Turning Development Strategy on Its Head

Discussion Papers


by FUJITA Masahisa

November 2006


This paper explores the possibilities of two unique Japanese concepts – the One Village One Product Movement (OVOP) and Michino Eki (or Roadside Stations) – as potential tools for bridging the gap between cities and rural areas through community-driven development. From the viewpoint of spatial economics and endogenous growth theory, this paper considers both OVOP and Michino Eki as rural development strategies of a broader nature based on “brand agriculture.” Here, brand agriculture represents a general strategy for community-based rural development that identifies, cultivates and fully utilizes local resources for the development of products or services unique to a certain "village." Selected examples of OVOP and Michino Eki from Japan and developing countries are introduced.

Keywords: rural development, brand agriculture, OVOP
JEL classification: O13, Q10, Q16

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