Japan selects candidate for global agricultural heritage

Japan has selected its latest candidate for the UN's Globally Important Agricultural Heritage Systems.

The UN Food and Agriculture Organization grants the recognition to rural areas that engage in traditional yet innovative farming that protects natural landscapes and ecosystems.

The program has designated as agricultural heritage sites 72 areas in 23 countries, including 13 areas in Japan.

The Japanese agriculture ministry says it worked with experts to select the citrus production areas of Arida and Shimotsu in Wakayama Prefecture.

The region has flourished as a producer of a type of citrus called "Unshu Mikan" since the early 17th century. Farmers have piled up stones on mountain slopes to create steps that host large citrus groves.

The ministry plans to submit its official application later this year.