Originally published in Issue 12
By Eri Hayashi, Japan Plant Factory Association, Industry Expert
The Japan Plant Factory Association is a nonprofit organization founded in 2010 by the faculties of Chiba University engaged in the Plant Factory Project funded by the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries(MAFF) of Japan. JPFA targets to support the industry of sustainable plant factory systems to expand locally and globally, which could be a viable solution to current international issues, including food, the environment, energy and resource use.
Research and development
JPFA has been conducting a R&D program of plant factories with artificial lighting (PFAL) and greenhouses (semi-closed system) with an environmental control system, with a focus on the development and commercialization of those fields, introducing new technology. The organization also supports member companies, offering consulting services for R&D and plant factory business, providing technical support and various business opportunities.
There are several PFAL and greenhouse facilities on site facilities on site in Kashiwa-no-ha town for research, education and training. So far, over 30,000 people from all over the world have visited the sites to learn about and understand plant factories.
This educational program (training course, intensive lectures) has been conducted since 2011 in collaboration with Chiba University. Intensive lectures cover science, business and the operation of plant factories. Moreover, business workshops have been held on a monthly basis on a wide range of issues for business people by planning workshops, excursions and instructor dispatches.
JPFA consists of more than 100 corporate members and another 100 individual members. The association is pursuing economic rationality through collaborative activities, and hoping to share and cooperate with more people with diverse backgrounds in order to move forward in a greater way.
Kashiwa-no-ha town – Smart city with PFALs
JPFA and Chiba University are located at Kashiwa-no-ha town in Chiba prefecture, a suburb of Tokyo. An ongoing social experiment in Kashiwa-no-ha has been conducted by Chiba University and JPFA towards changes in life style and social infrastructure for sustainable societies.
In this town there are multiple PFALs of different sizes for different purposes, including commercial large scale farms (10,000 heads of lettuce per day, 3,000 heads of lettuce per day), medium scale unique facilities (700 heads of lettuce per day), CPPS for seedling production, mini PFALs at a shopping center, restaurant, hotel and for home-use.
Kashiwa-no-ha town – A smart city with urban agriculture
• Rooftop farm, organic city farm, organic restaurant
• Mini PFALs at the shopping center, food shop, café restaurant, hotel restaurant,
• Commercial PFALs
• Household PFALs
• Greenhouses at Chiba University
• Solar panel and wind power generation, batteries
• Oriental medicine clinic, acupuncture clinic, herbal garden
• Honey bee house
For more: http://npoplantfactory.org/english.html
“PLANT FACTORY-An Indoor Vertical Farming System for Efficient Quality Food Production.” Published by Elsevier on Oct. 26, 2015; 423 pages
Edited by T. Kozai, G. Niu and M. Takagaki