Can the future of agriculture be found in an abandoned Sony factory in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan? The world’s largest indoor farm (25,000-square-feet) makes a powerful case. You see, the army of LED-powered robots working on the farm have reportedly been able to produce100 times more food than traditional farming methods (or about 10,000 heads of lettuce per day), using 40 percent less power, all while reducing food waste to about 80 percent according to Web Urbanist. In other words: the same LED (light-emitting diode) technology we’ve been experimenting with to grow lettuce in outer space may make us more effective farmers right here on our own planet.
This incredibly efficient “plant factory” was created in 2011 as an emergency response to the devastation left in the wake of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami wake, according to National Geographic, and the technology had been in various stages of development for 40 to 50 years.
“We chose this particular location because we wanted to prove that vegetables can be produced anywhere,” said Shigeharu Shimamura, CEO of Mirai, the agricultural technology company that created the giant indoor farm in an earlier interview with National Geographic. “Looking into the future, if we could succeed there, we could also see a possibility of exporting the technology we developed all over the world.”
That future could be fast-approaching. According to Web Urbanist, Mirai is already working on a similar farm in Hong Kong, and is developing other innovative agricultural projects in Mongolia and Russia.