In the year 2000, about 37% of Earth’s land was used to grow food. Although that was only a short time ago by most standards, the population expanded by almost 800 million by 2010.
The efficient use of agricultural land will continue to be a major issue for humanity’s future – and machine vision technology has huge implications for the automated factory farm model that may be the future of agriculture.
One recent success story comes from an automated factory farm in Singapore.
Panasonic is Using Specialized LEDs to Grow Veggies for Ready-to-Eat Salad
Yes, Panasonic – the brand known for TVs, microwaves, and every form of media player since the cassette and VHS tape – is a major player in Singapore’s agriculture scene. And the company is putting its electronic expertise to good use in a new field.
Panasonic entered the market in late 2015 and needed big innovation to compete. What it came up with: Hydroponic farming facilitated by unique purple LED lights. Thanks to the lighting conditions, harvest takes place in only 30 days.
That’s about half the time it takes a conventional automated factory farm to grow the same foodstuffs. Lettuce, mizuna, and red pepper have all been shown to react positively to the light.
Thanks to the remarkable success of the program, Panasonic recently refurbished its flagship farming site, boosting its production from three tons a year to an astonishing 81 tons.
With future investment, the brand is on track to produce 5% of all the vegetables in Singapore within three years – and it’s all thanks to the decision to harness an innovative LED lighting solution in a new way.