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How Oishii Uses Bees, Robots and Solar to Sustainably Grow Strawberries Indoors

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“Our bees act as they would in the wild, flying to find the nectar, pollinating each and every strawberry flower, and then returning home,” he added.

By Jennifer Kite-Powell
Forbes
Jun 9, 2024

Excerpt:

More than nine million tons of strawberries are produced globally each year. China, the US, Egypt, Turkey, Mexico, and Germany are the largest consumers of strawberries, accounting for 73% of the global consumption. Americans eat an average of 4.85 pounds of fresh and frozen strawberries yearly.

Earlier this year, US-based Oishii, an indoor vertical farm company, opened a solar-powered vertical strawberry farm in Phillipsburg, New Jersey. In February 2024, the company raised a $134 million series B round bringing their total funding to $189 million since 2016.

The new 237,400-square-foot Amatalas Farm—Japanese Goddess of the Sunwas—was designed to increase strawberry yields by more than 20 times. The farm runs primarily on renewable energy and is powered by an adjacent 50-acre solar field. It also recycles the majority of the water with a proprietary water purification system.

Amatelas Farm features individual farm units with 250 moving racks. Each rack is stacked with eight growing levels that move in a 24-hour cycle from the warmth of the day to the cool of night.

The bees live inside the climate-controlled farm with expert growers who tend to the bee’s health.

“Our advanced, climate-controlled farms recreate the perfect conditions for our plants and bees to thrive and also have “day” and “night” times,” said Hiroki Koga, CEO and Co-founder of Oishii. “Since there are never storms or extreme weather conditions, every day is actually a perfect day for our bees!”

Koga says that while most vertical farms grow their produce on static, immobile racks, Oishii’s moving architecture automates the growing process, allowing bees, robots, and humans to work in the same footprint.

Complete story.


Source: https://cityfarmer.info/how-oishii-uses-bees-robots-and-solar-to-sustainably-grow-strawberries-indoors/


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