Japan to open robot farm in tsunami disaster zone
A futuristic farm with robot operators is to open in Japan on land swamped by the March 11 tsunami as part of an experimental government project.
The project, masterminded by the Ministry of Agriculture, will involve unmanned tractors working the fields of the farm on a disaster zone site spanning 600 acres.
Robots will then box produce grown on the farm, including rice, wheat, soybeans, fruit and vegetables as part of the “Dream Project” scheme, according to the Nikkei.
The growth of crops will also be boosted by recycled carbon dioxide generated by the operation of the machinery in a bid to reduce reliance on chemical fertilisers.
An expanse of farmland in Miyagi prefecture, northeast Japan, which was flooded in last year’s tsunami, has been earmarked by the government for the project.
On-site research is expected to begin later this year, with a forecast government investment of £33 million (four billion yen) over the next six years, according to ministry officials.
Miyagi was one of Japan’s three worst hit prefectures in the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, which left more than 19,000 dead or missing and triggered the world’s worst nuclear crisis in decades.
Farming was hit particularly hard by the disaster, with tsunami water leaving soil laden with salt and oil deposits, as well as radiation contamination as a result of the leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.
More than 59,000 acres of once fertile farmland were damaged as a result of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear fallout, with the agricultural industry still struggling to recover.
The government is hoping to bolster the new robot farm project by inviting leading Japanese technology companies, including Panasonic, Fujitsu and Hitachi, to become involved.
"We hope the project will help not only support farmers in the disaster-hit regions but also revive the entire nation’s agriculture," said a spokesman for the agriculture ministry.
Latest News from our Front Page
Circumcision battle: Mom seeks release from jail after federal lawsuit is dismissed
West Boynton mother on Wednesday gave up trying to get a federal judge to stop her 4 1/2-year-old son from being circumcised as his father wishes â€” a battle that also led to her arrest May 14 on a state court warrant.
An attorney for Heather Hironimus, who lost similar legal challenges in two state courts, notified U.S. District Judge Kenneth ...
"Unhinged" - Circumcision Key to Jewish Psyche?
Endocrinologist traced Jewish behavior to an hormonal imbalance caused by circumcision.
Roger Dommergue was the half-Jewish scion of a wealthy French family that converted to Christianity. He was raised by his Jewish maternal grandmother but was not circumcised. He fought with the Free French air force during World War Two and was a Freemason for a while. He earned PhD ...
Estonia must accept African & Middle Eastern immigrants says politician
Kalle Laanet, an Estonian politician, spoke at the International Migration Forum held in Tallinn. He told the audience that the question is not: Should Estonia take the African and the Middle Eastern immigrants (who illegally entered Southern Europe)? He said the question is: How will Estonia take the immigrants?
â€œToday the issue is not whether Estonia should receive the refugees coming to ...
Rescuing Palmyra: History's lesson in how to save artefacts
With Islamic State militants now inside the historic town of Palmyra in Syria, the question, inevitably, is whether they will destroy the ancient ruins.
As IS continues to sweep through parts of Iraq and Syria, damage to centuries-old artefacts - because IS sees statues and shrines as idolatrous - is plentiful.
But history has shown that, when culturally important sites are under ...
Saudi Arabia Wants to Convert Sweden to Islam
Aje Carlbom is an Associate Professor of Social Anthropology, University of Malmö
Since the 1970s, Saudi Arabia has actively spread its interpretation of Islam, Wahhabism or Salafism, worldwide. It is the most literal version of Islam and affects many young Muslims, who regard society as a place to Islamize, writes social anthropologist Aje Carlbom.
Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot WallstrÃ¶m was ...
|More News » |