Japanese home-building firm Daiwa House Industry has developed Agri-Cube – an urban farming unit the size of a standard parking space that can produce thousands of vegetables a year.
The unit, which grows the vegetables on stacked shelves, uses variable fluorescent lighting, temperature control and a fertiliser circulation and drainage system – making it easy for farmers to grow food in the city.
Trials have shown the best results with leafy vegetables, such as lettuce and small root vegetables, including radishes and turnips. Lettuce heads can be grown within 42 days and the company states the cube has a yield of 10,000 per year.
The device – designed for city restaurants, hotels and grocers – has the potential to cut the fuel costs and emissions involved in transporting farmed produce across the country.