INDOOR FARMING

Imagine a 25,000 square foot factory farm that produces 10,000 heads of lettuce per day. Shigeharu Shimamura’s indoor farm in Japan boasts of being the largest of its kind in the world.

Indoor farms consume less water than outdoor farms as they do not lose water by percolation into the soil. This cuts food waste as well. Nor are indoor crops threatened by pests or inclement weather.

The indoor farm uses vertically-stacked racks in a pest-free environment using LED lights. A conventional agricultural setting results in more than 30% of lettuce being wasted whereas Shimamura boasts of only 3% wastage. That’s a big deal, with over 1.4 billion tons of global food wastage every year. Shimamura and his Mira Company plan to set up indoor farming factories in Hong Kong and Russia to support food production on a global scale.

In early 2014, a unit of Japan’s famous Panasonic Corp started growing ten types of vegetables in one of its factory buildings in Singapore. It currently sells its output, which includes lettuce, mini-radishes and baby spinach, to a chain of Japanese restaurants in Singapore. But by March 2017 it plans to grow 30 varieties of vegetables and account for 5 per cent of Singapore’s vegetable production. Fujitsu and Sharp are also experimenting with indoor farming in Japan and Dubai respectively.

This is the need of time as the land for cultivation is shrinking every day. Population growth is not under control. Indian Government is providing big subsidy and loan facility on this type of project. The only problem in our place is power.

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