The New Farm in Town – Plant Factory

We are living in the era of advanced technology where in every part of our daily life is penetrated by it in some or the other way. Various types of factories equipped with cutting edge technologies are built to produce everything that is essential for our living but have you heard of plant factories?

What Are Plant Factories?

Plant factories are literally the facilities to produce plants in large scale. It is a system that artificially creates an optimized environment conducive for plant growth. High-quality greens can be produced indoor all year round regardless of the seasons. This is all made viable through the control of cultivation environment such as light, temperature, humidity, carbon dioxide concentration and culture solution, allowing growers to plan production.

The word “factory” means a building where goods are manufactured. In this case, it is to produce plants. Perhaps, you might be asking what are the buildings suitable to be served as plant factories. Any unused space such as warehouses or factories are great spots to be converted into factories growing plants.

A classic example is the 25,000 square foot (roughly half a football field) indoor farm which was previously a Sony semiconductor plant in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. It was converted into an indoor farm by plant physiologist Shigeharu Shimamura in year 2014, capable of producing 10,000 heads of lettuce per day.

How Plant Factories Work?

In plant factories, plants are grown in stacks just like how humans live in multi-levels condominium. It maximises the space to grow plants and subsequently increases the production. The system used in growing the leafy greens can be either hydroponics or aeroponics – a system without soil. Plants absorb the nutrients essential for their growth from the nutrient solution supplied through hydroponics or aeroponics system.