Nano refers to measurement to the power of 9 or one-billionth (i.e., 1 × 109). Nanotechnology is a suite of techniques (nanoscience) used to manipulate matter at the scale of atoms and molecules. Nanoscientists are currently exploiting property changes at the nano scale to create new materials and modify existing ones. Considered to be the new impetus for radical changes, it could have a profound societal impact on all aspects of socioeconomic development (markets, jobs, competition, competitive advantage, comparative advantage, etc.).
A national quality award is usually a country’s most prestigious award for enterprises (private or public) in recognition of business excellence and quality management. The framework is usually an integrated performance/result-based approach translated into working guidelines called a performance excellence framework (with operating criteria and core values). Such awards recognize organizations, enterprises, or operating units with a unique mission and objectives. Award systems are designed primarily to serve national interests by improving competitiveness or enabling sustainable economic growth.
Natural farming (also known as Fukuoka farming or the Fukuoka method) refers to a unique small-scale organic farming system that does not require weeding, pesticide or fertilizer applications, or tilling. Masanobu Fukuoka of Japan devoted his life to developing this unique farming system. Fukuoka was a pioneer in no-till grain cultivation. The essence of Fukuoka’s method is to reproduce natural conditions as closely as possible. In natural farming there is no plowing, no weeding, and minimal disturbance of the natural agroecosystem. However, organic farming allows operations such as land cultivation, weeding, etc.
See also: Nature farming; Organic farming
Nature farming is derived from Mokichi Okada’s philosophy of abandoning the use of all chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Nature farming uses only organic matter to enhance the vitality of the soil and enrich its inherent power. Since nature farming does not rely on commercial fertilizers, it was initially called fertilizer-free cultivation. However, the name was later changed to nature farming to make clear that this approach is based on a comprehensive theory of agriculture and an underlying philosophy that views the life-sustaining powers of the soil as integral to the workings of the universe. Both nature farming and organic farming do without using chemical fertilizers and pesticides. However, organic farming allows use of all sorts of organic inputs, while nature farming emphasizes the use of processed organic matter alone to enhance soil vitality.
See also: Natural farming; Organic farming
Niche agricultural marketing is the specialization of customers and agrifood products under innovative segmentations of the market. The marketer maneuvers to gain special recognition of the product and communication with the customers. The marketer has the ability to negotiate favorable pricing with customers. The product, customer, production, and delivery of the product are personalized. It is the opposite of bulk, commodity trade in mainstream marketing. Niche market production is generally small by definition. The most distinct feature of niche marketing is the very high inherent value that has been added in the supply process. Niche food markets have grown tremendously in recent years. These markets are very attractive targets for small food producers and processors who naturally find it difficult to compete with large, multinational companies in more traditional markets. Exotic new fruit and vegetables, organic items, and specialty ethnic or lifestyle items all appear to be preferred by growing numbers of consumers and all have the potential to offer profitable niche markets for small farmers.