SDK to Provide Cultivation Technology to LED-Based Plant Growth Facility of Kawauchi Village in Fukushima
Showa Denko K.K. (SDK) has decided to provide Kawauchi Village, Fukushima Prefecture, with a new cultivation method for LED-based plant growth facilities for free. The village, headed by Mr. Yuko Endo, is now building an LED-based plant growth facility.
SDK has developed the new cultivation method jointly with Professor Masayoshi Shigyo, Faculty of Agriculture, Yamaguchi University. Compared with conventional LED-based plant growth facilities, the new method shortens shipment cycles and increases the amount of harvest through the irradiation of red and blue lights at optimized ratios for plant growth, using LED chips produced by SDK. (For details of the new cultivation technology, please refer to our news release of May 9, 2012.)
Kawauchi Village has decided to adopt the new cultivation method (the Shigyo method) and SDK’s LED chips at its new plant growth facility, recognizing the advantages of the method. SDK has decided to license the technology for free to assist the village’s reconstruction efforts.
The village, located at the center of Abukuma Highlands, is known for its rich rice crop. As the village is within the 30-km radius of the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Station, however, part of the village was designated as a “cautionary area” and the rest as an “evacuation-prepared area in case of emergency” after the nuclear accident following the Great East Japan Earthquake. The “evacuation-prepared area” designation has already been lifted, and some of the residents have started returning to the village. Nevertheless, it is not easy to restore the farmland, and employment opportunities in the village are not yet sufficient.
As part of its efforts to restore agriculture and ensure employment opportunities, Kawauchi Village decided to build a hydroponic plant growth facility that uses safe groundwater and artificial light. The facility, to be operated as a totally closed system, will ensure food safety, and employ 25 workers. A ground-breaking ceremony was held on October 20, and the facility will start producing leaf lettuce and herbs in April 2013.
SDK will continue to contribute toward ensuring stable supply of safe food and promoting agriculture through the provision of LED chips that emit light with optimized wavelengths for plant growth, and the innovative Shigyo method technology.
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