Qatar University (QU) and its partners Chiyoda Corporation and Chiyoda Almana Engineering have successfully completed a hydroponic Vegetable Factory project with the first harvest, it was announced Monday.
It was in July 2019 that QU's Office of Vice President for Research and Graduate Studies, with sponsor Marubeni Corporation (a major Japanese diversified trading and investment business conglomerate), signed an agreement with Chiyoda Corporation Japan and Chiyoda Almana Engineering Qatar, to establish the Vegetable Factory for research purposes.
The project, located at QU's Agricultural Research Station's (ARS) permanent site, 70 km from Doha, was jointly implemented by the ARS and the Centre for Sustainable Development (CSD). The Vegetable Factory Project was one among many ongoing collaborations between QU and Marubeni Cooperation, it was explained in a statement issued Monday by Chiyoda Almana Engineering.
As part of this agreement, global engineering major Chiyoda Corporation was awarded the engineering and procurement work of the hydroponic cultivation systems and equipment, while Chiyoda Almana Engineering, the local subsidiary of Chiyoda Corporation in Qatar, was engaged for the equipment’s transportation, assembly, and installation work.
The project offers an opportunity to explore a new and technologically advanced solution to meet Qatar's national food security challenges. It introduced hydroponic cultivation with artificial lighting in a controlled and clean environment.
All components, including cultivation equipment, remote monitoring system, seeds, and fertilisers, were imported from Japan. The technology supports year-round cultivation even in adverse weather conditions and at a short turnaround period. The fully automated and remotely controlled cultivation system considers and regulates various environmental parameters to achieve fast vegetable growth within 30 days.
The technology used has proven the capability to steadily produce high-quality vegetables year-round. Test Cultivation started in early October this year the facility's end user, QU, with technical advice and support from Chiyoda Corporation.
The cultivation covered the full cycle, from seeding to harvesting, to enable QU to conduct independent operations of the factory. The first harvest was carried out in the first week of this month, marking the successful implementation of the project.
QU’s ARS will utilise the factory as a research and reference facility to support Qatar’s food security agenda, in line with Qatar National Vision 2030, the statement added.
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