CORRECT: Mitsubishi Chemical, Chinese partner to grow fruit indoors to feed domestic demand

08, Oct. 2019

Corrects figure to 60 tons from 600,000 tons in 7th paragraph in Oct. 4 story

TOKYO, NNA – Japan’s largest chemical maker Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. has joined a Chinese partner to raise strawberries and tomatoes indoors and meet a growing demand for fresh produce in the world’s second largest economy.

The venture marks Tokyo-based Mitsubishi Chemical’s first overseas foray into factories that produce fruit indoors.

Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. is building a 7,600-square-meter factory with ShenYang Qiushi Agricultural Science and Technology Development Co., a spokesman for Japanese firm told NNA Thursday.

The plant in northeastern China is set to be completed in November. The two firms plan to start shipping fruits early next year to the Chinese partner’s own retail outlets as well as online, the spokesman said.

Demand for fresh vegetables, especially expensive ones, is rising along with meat consumption in China, Mitsubishi said in a statement.

Mitsubishi Chemical’s two arms – its subsidiary Mitsubishi Chemical Agri Dream Co. and Wuxi Lingyang Green Agricultural System & Technology Co. – are taking on the project. Wuxi Lingyang is Mitsubishi Chemical’s joint venture with another Chinese partner.

The Mitsubishi Chemical group supplied an indoor vegetable cultivation plant system to ShenYang Qiushi in 2018. The 4,500-square-meter plant raises 5 million seedlings and 600,000 tons of leafy vegetables such as lettuce and spinach per year, the spokesman said.

The indoor fruit factory expects to experiment for a time with production periods and yields.

In addition to operating the tomato and strawberry factory, the Chinese partner in Shenyang will help Mitsubishi Chemical sell its vegetable and fruit plant cultivation systems elsewhere in northeastern China and in China’s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, the statement says.