25,000 SqFt Plant Factory In Tokyo Showcases How Cities Of the Future Will Meet Rising Food Demands As Populations Grow
Housed in an abandoned Sony factory, Shigeharu Shimamura, a plant physiologist and CEO of Mirai, has constructed a plant factory that
showcases the future of urban food production. 25,000sqft of plant beds powered by 17,500 LED lights all add up to the production of 10,000 pesticide free heads of lettuce produced each and every day.
The impressive feats don’t stop there. The factory is also incredibly efficient at reducing food waste. Typical field grown lettuce will see 30-40% of the plant wasted because of various factors but Mirai’s lettuce typically sees less than 3% of the crop go to waste.
Mirai got its start at a factory located in an area devastated by the Tohoku earthquake and Tsunami in 2011. Motivated by the general concern of declining domestic vegetable supply and seeing how a heavy reliance on imports was risky in the wake of natural disasters.
The farming technology developed by Mirai also allows them to use less than one percent of the water that would be used to grow the same amount of produce by conventional means.
Mirai developed a way for them to catch the evaporating water and the moisture coming off the plant and that water is collected, filtered, and recycled in an enclosed space.
Mirai also has facilities in Hong Kong, Mongolia, the Gobi Desert and Ulaanbaatar. They plan to expand with another in Russia, a country who’s harsh climate has historically limited their ability to produce domestically for the majority of the year.
Mirai is a shining example of the potential of urban agriculture and is showcasing that their model is repeatable in any environment that has the infrastructure in place for their power and water needs. To learn more about the company, its mission and its technology, check out their website here.