A Japanese scientist working in conjunction with General Electric has developed an indoor vegetable factory that can produce huge crop yields in a small area—and one that’s well nigh impervious to droughts and extreme weather. Japanese plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimemura created an high-tech indoor farm in a disused Sony factory that grows lettuce in tightly packed stacks under ultra-thin LED’s. The Daily Mail reports:
Closely controlled using specially-designed LED lamps, the farm opened earlier this month and is already said to be producing 10,000 heads of lettuce a day. […]It farm uses 17,500 LED lights spread over 18 cultivation racks, reaching 16 levels high – and these lights are used to mimic day and night.
By monitoring the photosynthesis process carefully, the system grows lettuce two-and-a-half times faster than an outdoor farm.It also cuts waste product by 40 per cent and productivity per square foot is up 100-fold. […]
The GE Japan team believes that indoor farms like the one in the Miyagi Prefecture could be a key to solving food shortages in the world.
Doomsayers have long warned that we are nearing the limits of human productivity. But over and over they are proved wrong by technological innovations. If this type of food production takes off, it could turn out to be yet another defeat for Malthus.