Qatar is set to receive a huge ‘vegetable garden’ that would sail all the way from Japan to Qatari shores in the month of April. The scientifically developed shipping container, meant for growing vegetables, would be delivered to Qatar by a Japanese company.
The Japan-based Mitsubishi Chemical Holdings Corp. is the company that developed the specially configured shipping container. Though several countries, including some GCC countries and Russia, have placed their orders for the unique system, Qatar is the first country to receive it. Mitsubishi Chemical Corp announced in Tokyo that it would sell the specially configured shipping containers for growing vegetables, with the first delivery to be made to Qatar in April 2010.
The insulated 40-feet containers are equipped with water-circulation system, LED lighting. It’s perfectly feasible to supply these containers with solar panel and lithium-ion battery to make them utilise abundant solar energy. Mitsubishi Chemical suggests that the plant can harvest about 50 leaf vegetables such as lettuce per day. For such leafy vegetables as lettuce, 2000 plants can be grown in a single container.
Measuring 12.2(length) x 2.4 (width) x 2.9 meter (Height), the vegetable plants with solar panel and lithium-ion battery costs approximately $659,051- $768,893. These are also available without the solar additions and are priced at $550,918.
The container, which the company calls as “vegetable factory”, is a heat-insulating one featuring air-conditioning facilities to keep the inside temperature constant. It is also equipped with water treatment facilities for water circulation, filteration and recycling. The fluorescent and LED lighting equipment will help photosynthesis.
Furthermore, having equipped with a solar panel and lithium-ion battery, it is possible to use them together with electricity from the grid. The company expects that the plant will be powered only by a solar energy in the future and used in off-grid regions.
“When used in regions where electricity prices are low, fluroscent lighting equipment will be mainly used. But, when the plant is powered mainly by solar power, LED lighting equipment will be used because it consumes less power than fluroscent light equipment “, the company spokesperson revealed in Tokyo while formally announcing the company’s decision to deliver the first container to Qatar.
Qatar is mainly depending on countries like, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon and India to meet its domestic fruit and vegetable demand. The country is now working on multi-layer initiatives to become self-reliant on food and agricultural products.
However, it is not clear the Japanese company is delivering its scientifically developed ‘vegetable gardens’ to a government entity or to private agencies.
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