First, the production is able to reduce labor cost by 50 percent. Why only 50 percent if the process is fully automated? Well, of course we need humans to control, supervise, and repair any damages to the machines. Second, not only does this idea beneficial to the company in terms of profits, but also for the environment. The farm will recycle 98 percent of water used for cultivation due to the machine's efficiency in reducing water wastage. Not only that, the computers can also regulate lighting, temperature, water quality, carbon dioxide level, moisture, and water quality to ensure high quality harvests and decent growth rate. Third, indoor farming will reduce contaminants present in harvested lettuce as human's exposure is much lesser and the use of pesticides/insecticides is completely removed from the procedure. Lastly, since Kyoto is located near the recently devastated nuclear plant, the soil, water, and air are most likely contaminated with high concentration of toxic radioactive chemicals. As such, conventional agricultural practice is not a viable option anymore, and the idea of having indoor cultivation is highly probable and necessary in order to provide sufficient food for the local communities.
Every coin has two sides, just like every decision has both opportunities and threats. Although the idea is extremely viable and beneficial, we cannot close one eye to the possible threats and consequences. If the Japanese can manage to minimize the possible negative implications, then this idea can become a huge leap to our current perceptions of agriculture; redefining entirely the concept of the agricultural system.
Hale, T. (2015, October 9). Japan Will Open A Fully Robotic Lettuce Farm By 2017. Retrieved from http://www.iflscience.com/technology/japan-will-open-fully-robotic-lettuce-farm-2017