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Indoor Vertical Farm in Japan Could Grow 12,000 Lettuces A Day With Just LED Lights

Aug 11, 2016 05:03 AM EDT
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A Japanese indoor vertical farm could produce 12,000 lettuces a day within two hours.

Indoor farming is becoming popular among urban communities where there are few farmlands. Philips Lighting recently launched its latest indoor vertical farming experiments, with trials in two Japanese facilities. The trials involved climate-controlled environments under LED lighting, which promote energy-efficient farming while cultivating a variety of fresh produce.

"Vertical farms are an ideal way to meet this growing demand for safe, fresh food especially in a country with highly urbanized areas where space is at a premium," Udo van Slooten, business leader for Philips Lighting Horticulture, told Hortweek.

"And Japan is one of the fastest growing markets for our horticultural LED systems."

One of the trial farms in Japan is Innovatus' Fuji Farm in Shizuoka Prefecture, where five varieties of lettuce are being grown under Philips GreenPower LED Lighting. The 1,850 square-meter facility, which also happens to be one of the largest closed-environment vertical farms in the world, harvests 12,000 heads of frilled, green leaf and romaine lettuce a day.

Moreover, Fuji Farm's harvests are available on store shelves in two hours.

"The quality and control it has given us with our lettuce crops has enabled us to get lettuces to Tokyo supermarkets in just two hours after shipment," director Hitoshi Wada told Hortweek. "Furthermore, as the lettuces are grown and packaged in an extremely hygienic environment, there is no need to wash them before eating."

Delicious Cook, a Japanese prepared-food supplier, has also been using Philips GreenPower LED production module in its 80 square-meter urban farm in Narashino City in Chiba Prefecture since October. The facility experimented on cultivating rare varieties of herbs, such as coriander and edible chrysanthemums.

"Now, Delicious Cook can rely upon its own high-quality produce, home-grown indoors all year round and avoid sourcing it from external suppliers," said Katsuhiro Takahashi, facilities manager of Delicious Cook.

According to Inhabitat, Philips Lighting's horticultural LED systems developed certain crop "recipes" that make urban farming easier. The recipes allow urban farmers to set the precise combination of light, temperatures and humidity levels in producing each type of crop. 

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