Japan-based Mebiol using hydro-membrane film to grow crops including tomatoes, melons, more without soil, chemicals

Andrew Rogers

Andrew Rogers

Aug 18, 2011 – Industry Intelligence

LOS ANGELES , August 18, 2011 () – Japan’s Mebiol Inc. is using its Integrated Membrane Culture farming technology to grow crops without soil, as plants are able to absorb water and nutrients through the microns-thick hydro-membrane film, CNET reported Aug. 17.

The film looks like plastic wrap with nano-size holes that allows plants to absorb water and nutrients, which eliminates the need for soil. The film prevents bacteria and viruses from affecting the plants eliminating the need for chemicals.

With liquid nutrients administered from above and below the film, plants can grow substantially, according to Yuichi Mori of Mebiol and Waseda University.

The film can be used anywhere as an impermeable ground film stops soil contaminates from reaching plants. In the desert of Dubai, Mori and his collaborators grew tomatoes using the films.

Some 80,000 tomatoes of different varieties have been grown through film farming by Mori and his collaborators, and the produce has been sold in supermarkets and online. They have also cultivated melons, cucumbers, strawberries, lettuce and paprika.

The film could be used in areas of Japan that have seen soil contaminated by the leaking Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, Mori said.

At JA Miyagi, an agricultural cooperative in a part of Japan affected by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Mebiol plans to establish a model film farm, with its sights set on improving the film so it can grow larger plants including trees.

The primary source of this article is CNET, San Francisco, California, on Aug. 17, 2011.

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