Japanese homebuilding firm Daiwa House Industry has developed the Agri-Cube, a unit that fits inside a standard parking space and can produce around 30 vegetables a day.
In recent times, Springwise has come across a number of startups aiming to aid urban crop growth with innovative hydroponic solutions, from the NASA-inspired Green Wheel indoor rotary garden to Efficient City Farming’s rooftop aquaponic farm. Now Japanese homebuilding firm Daiwa House Industry has developed the Agri-Cube, a unit that fits inside a standard parking space and can produce 10,000 vegetables a year. The Agri-Cube utilises variable fluorescent lighting, temperature control and a fertilizer circulation and drainage system to give urban farmers flexibility with their crops, which grow on stacked shelves inside the unit. Trials have shown best results with leafy vegetables such as lettuce and other salad greens, although a total of 23 varieties have been sustained using the system, including small root vegetables like radishes and turnips. Lettuce heads can be grown within 42 days and the creators claim that the Agri-Cube has a yield of 10,000 heads per year. It is expected that the device could be used by city restaurants, hotels and grocers, due to its small footprint, which could also cut fuel usage and emissions involved in transporting farmed goods across the country. The following video from DigInfo has more information about the product: There are two versions of Agri-Cube available, priced at JPY 5,500,000 for the standard package and JPY 8,500,000 for additional air conditioning and rooftop solar panels, while the cost of running the machine is around JPY 35 per vegetable. For urban businesses that can’t afford to buy their own land off site, this innovation could prove especially useful. Spotted by Judy McRae