Japanese Vertical Strawberry Farm

The idea of vertical farming is one of my favorite sustainability platforms. There are many prototypes but most focus on leafy greens. In Tainai, Niigata, Japan, there is a company growing strawberries vertically in an old elementary building. Yuki Matsuda and Takafumi Ono co-founded the Ichigo Company. They renovated the building and began with two growing rooms. They were sustainable in developing cheap but efficient shelves for the berries. The rooms collectively produce roughly 3,200 strawberries. These medium sized berries sell individually for five dollars. The reason being their market. They are currently pitching to a high end standard with competitors like Godiva. Their strawberries are luxurious and have actually sold out a few times. They are starting in the high end market to brand their company well. They want to be established where it is well known and then move into the mass market.

This is essential in a country such as Japan because of the population densities in cities. With growth of food demand and a difficulty in maintaining supply, the country is going to need alternatives. The idea of vertical farming is essential to save space as well as shield crops from the growing hostility of nature. I really found this interesting to read about. I often here of leafy greens being grown but this concept is very new. Their market approach is also unusual although it appears to be sustainable as it mimics that of the well-known Tesla brand. Below are the links to my sources.

Here is an image inside one of the Ichigo grow rooms.

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Innoplex (2016) Vertical farming, plant factory market shares 2014 to 2020. Available at: http://innoplex-agri.org/2014/05/vertical-farming-plant-factory-market-shares/ (Accessed: 4 November 2016).
Koga, H., Manning, L., Burwood-Taylor, L. and Byrum, J. (2016) How a Japanese vertical farm is growing strawberries using LED for the First time. Available at: https://agfundernews.com/how-a-japanese-vertical-farm-is-growing-strawberries-using-led-for-the-first-time5691.html (Accessed: 4 November 2016).
Sanchanta, M. (2011) Japan food-supply issues raise questions on tariffs, imports. Available at: http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704587004576242430334478662 (Accessed: 4 November 2016).
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3 thoughts on “Japanese Vertical Strawberry Farm

  1. I love the concept of vertical farming! It’s the same thing as apartment housing; an easy way to implement a human need that takes up less space. Like you said, with growing population densities comes a constant increase in need for food supply. Vertical farming can be implemented in community areas giving local access to food for city residents as well. Overall an awesome innovation.
    Here’s a website for the Vertical Farming Association with ways to get involved with vertical farming, along with more general info about its benefits:
    https://vertical-farming.net/

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  2. I saw vertical farming of strawberries on a farm in Israel. The strawberry baskets were connected by a water hose that ran through the soil of the containers in green houses. Water was carefully regulated and it allowed for all of the strawberries to remain somewhat consistent. Vertical farming is a great way to save space especially in areas with limited land. It would be a good option for city farming.

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