When you think of Toshiba, you probably immediately imagine electronics products like televisions and computers. However, the company has made a name for itself in the healthcare industry, too, thanks to its CT and other diagnostic imaging machines and technology. Now, Toshiba wants to go further to promote their healthcare initiatives, by introducing 100 percent pesticide-free vegetable factories in Japan.
The first Toshiba vegetable factory will open in a few months in Yokusuka, Japan. But this isn’t just a greenhouse: Toshiba’s plant factory will be a high-tech facility. It'll include optimized lights set to a wavelength to grow perfect plants and specialized air-conditioning that keeps temperature and humidity set to a constant level. Managers can remotely monitor the factory from another location and keep an eye on plant growth, with the ability to change settings as needed. The factory itself will be completely sterile, creating a super-clean facility with plants that won’t need pesticides.
Because of the clean environment, all plants will be germ-free, which means they’ll have longer shelf lives and be fresher and higher in nutrients than farm-grown vegetables. Toshiba will sell their produce to grocery stores, restaurants and convenience stores, focusing on cities where urban growth often prevents fresh vegetables from being readily available. Not only do residents of cities benefit from this, but Toshiba benefits financially, with estimated yearly sales around $3 million.
If successful, Toshiba may build a larger plant outside of Japan and sell its plant factory technology to other cities worldwide. It’s certainly a good solution to providing nutrition in urban areas where fresh pesticide-free produce is almost non-existent.