This Japanese farm is 100 times more productive then outdoor farms

Is this the future of farming?

This indoor farm owned by a Japanese company called Mira, is reported to be 100 times more productive than 'old-fashioned' outdoor/open air farms. It is also reported to produce 80% less waste and use 99% less water than an outdoor farm of the same size.

How does it work?

Being dubbed 'the indoor food factory' - the farm uses 17,500 lights set to a wavelength which makes the plants grow quickly, achieved by manipulating the plants' day and night cycles. The farm produces 10,000 heads of lettuce per day out of the 25,000 square feet facility, amazing!

The farm's CEO, Shigeharu Shimamura, came up with the idea post the 2011 earthquake and subsequent tsunami that wreaked havoc across Japan and brought on a local food shortage.

National Geographic spoke with Shimamura in July last year about the innovative food factory and indoor farms as a potential solution to the global food crisis. Here's what Shimamura had to say:

"I believe that, at least technically, we can produce almost any kind of plant in a factory. But what makes most economic sense is to produce fast-growing vegetables that can be sent to the market quickly. That means leaf vegetables for us now. In the future, though, we would like to expand to a wider variety of produce. It's not just vegetables we are thinking about, though. The factory can also produce medicinal plants. I believe that there is a very good possibility we will be involved in a variety of products soon."

"What is important here is that the success of this project depended not only on the technology, but also on the accumulated knowledge of farming practices. Mirai, our company, had the knowledge of how to grow vegetables in a factory setting, but we needed the technology to make it work."

"As we face world shortages of both water and food, plant factory operations will not only stay but expand worldwide. The merging of our expertise is essential in expanding our operation to other places in the world."

Read the full interview here.

What do you think, is this the future of farming? Leave your thoughts below.

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