Tags: agriculture, farming, robots
What? Japanese lettuce production company Spread is making a factory farm to harvest 30,000 heads of lettuce per day. The vegetable factory grows crops indoors, using only light-emitting diode panels to optimize production (a continuation of the trend of vertical farming). The farm will open in 2017, and upgrade their existing Kameoka Plant that produces 21,000 heads of lettuce per day. As well as producing more lettuce, the farm will reduce labour costs by 50%, cut energy use by 30%, and recycle 98% of the water needed to grow the crops.
So what? Predictions of climate-related food shocks or of a Malthusian decline (a prediction of a forced return to subsistence-level conditions once population growth has outpaced agricultural production) rely on assumptions about the nature of agriculture. Rain-fed cropping on large plots of land using sunlight in a natural environment is not the only method of agriculture. In the future, large farms may be local, vertical and robotized.
Source: Tech Insider - Spread's robot farm will open soon