Fujitsu Limited today announced the start of field trials led by Fujitsu Home & Office Services Limited in the city of Wakamatsu, Fukushima Prefecture.
The trials will use the FUJITSU Intelligent Society Solution “Akisai” Food and Agriculture Cloud Platform for this large-scale plant factory. With 2,000 m2 of space for production, this is the largest plant factory in Japan for the cultivation of low-potassium vegetables.
The field trials started with a proposal from Fujitsu Home & Office Services, as representative of a consortium, to test a large-scale technology-enabled plant factory business based on advanced low-potassium plant cultivation techniques.
It was adopted by the Reconstruction Agency and Ministry of the Economy, Trade, and Industry (METI) for a 2013 advanced agricultural production system field trial(1), and is being conducted by a consortium of companies, including companies from within the Fujitsu Group, Aizufujikako Co., Ltd., and Fukushima Medical University.
Through this field trial, the consortium aims to cultivate low-potassium leaf lettuce that can be eaten raw by dialysis patients and people with chronic kidney disease. The consortium hopes to contribute to the creation of a society where there is food that everyone can enjoy, as well as to contribute to the rebuilding of local industry.
Low-potassium cultivation technology
People under doctor’s orders to limit their potassium intake, which includes dialysis patients and people with chronic kidney disease, find themselves with limited options for vegetables that can be eaten raw, making low-potassium vegetables a highly attractive option.
By capitalizing on the low-potassium vegetable cultivation techniques and knowledge of Aizufujikako and Akita Prefectural University, Fujitsu Home & Office Services will begin trial production of low-potassium leaf lettuce in October 2013, and will shift to full-scale production in January 2014. In doing so, the company will aim to meet the nutritional demands of people who require low-potassium vegetables.
Utilizing semiconductor fabrication technology
The project draws on the know-how that Fujitsu Semiconductor Limited developed in semiconductor-fabrication clean rooms for determining optimum production conditions and microorganism control to precisely manage atmospheric conditions and the active ingredients included in liquid fertilizers, creating the ideal growing environment for low-potassium vegetables.
Also utilized is the infrastructure supply and power-efficient semiconductor fab management at Fujitsu Facilities Engineering Limited, which helps to provide an infrastructure environment ideal for low-potassium cultivation and energy-efficient operation.
Data-driven agricultural technology using the “Akisai” Food and Agriculture Cloud Platform
The project uses Akisai, the food and agricultural cloud from Fujitsu that leverages ICT to dramatically improve the efficiency of agricultural operations. Akisai will be used to continually analyze agricultural data for highly productive cultivation and to facilitate the entire management process, including management, production, and sales, for a more efficient agricultural operation.
How Akisai is used in the plant factory
Technology to bring just what is needed to the people that need it, when they need it
Using delivery channels for fresh fish, pharmaceuticals, and other products for seniors ensures that low-potassium vegetables can reach the people who need them, when the need them. It also enables the traceability of the produce for greater peace of mind.
・Location: Wakamatsu City, Fukushima Prefecture
・Duration: July 2013 to end of March 2014
・Production scale: 2,000 m2 usable space; 3,500 heads of lettuce/day production
Glossary and Notes
1) 2013 advanced agricultural production system field trial:
The Reconstruction Agency and METI have a program to gather proposals aimed at increasing the competitiveness of the agriculture, forestry, and fishery industries and to aid in the recovery of the region affected by the Tohoku Earthquake, targeting private businesses, to test systems using advanced technologies and know-how from industry and commerce as applied to agriculture, forestry, and fisheries, and to provide support in developing these into businesses and other ventures.
Fujitsu is the leading Japanese information and communication technology (ICT) company offering a full range of technology products, solutions and services. Approximately 170,000 Fujitsu people support customers in more than 100 countries. We use our experience and the power of ICT to shape the future of society with our customers. Fujitsu Limited (TSE: 6702) reported consolidated revenues of 4.4 trillion yen (US$47 billion) for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2013. For more information, please see http://www.fujitsu.com.