Vegetables grown under LED lights garnering huge business interest in Japan

by Sayan Chakravarty

With swelling cities and diminishing agricultural lands, using technology to improve cultivation methods is the only way to maintain balance. Conventional farming and agro-methods are now being challenged by some really great contemporary ideas backed by cutting-edge technology. Japan has been testing indoor hydroponic farming using LED lights, yes LED lights to grow lettuce inside factories. Tamagawa University and Nishimatsu Construction together have been working on this project since last October and started experimental operation using LED lights and liquid fertilizer. The project was carried out at the 900 square meter LED SciTech farm. The resulting yield known as ‘Super Lettuce’ contained 2.6 times more antioxidants than usual and it was completely pesticides free.

The idea has suddenly taken off and real estate developers are using this as an opportunity. Well known names like Asahi Kasei Homes and Obayashi are trying to commercialize the business and introduce their own agro-yield. The method can also be used inside homes, where there is lack of sunlight, and it looks great as a part of home-decor. Though there are some barriers to entry, it takes 40 days to grow lettuce which is more than usual and the equipment needed costs quite a lot. But, the technology is still in its nascent stage and bigger names like Panasonic are taking interest in it.

[Via – Itmedia]

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