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Solar panel manufacturer Sharp set to ... grow strawberries?
Sharp — a company well known for making solar panels amongst other electronic equipment — has announced it is to grow strawberries in the Middle East.
Following tests completed in Sharp’s laboratories, the aim is to commercialise a sealed plant-growing facility based on Sharp technology to grow a Japanese variety of strawberries.
Currently, Japanese strawberries are sold at a premium in markets such as the Middle East, where there has been limited success in growing them commercially. Meanwhile, transporting them overseas has always presented a problem because of their tendency to spoil easily, leading to the high cost of the imported produce.
Sharp has said that its electronic technology will enable finely-tuned control of the environment and a high quality product to be achieved.
As well as LED lights and monitoring equipment, the electronics giant plans to implement its 'Plasmacluster' technology. This will purify air by emitting a plasma (a mix of positive and negative hydrogen and oxygen ions forming, in this instance, free radicals) to eliminate airborne mould, viruses, dust mites, allergens and bacteria.
Whether it will be a success is another matter, but, with the promise of a facility full of technology, it will certainly be interesting to see the scheme up and running ...