Charting New Horizons with Oishii's Growth and Fluence's AgTech Breakthroughs

Discover this week's latest development from the world of Controlled Environment Agriculture.

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This Week in Indoor Farming: Oishii's Expansion and Fluence's Lighting Innovations in AgTech

Oishii Secures $134 Million For Expansion: Oishii, a U.S. startup with roots in Japan, has successfully garnered $134 million in funding from 19 investors, including notable names like Nippon Telegraph and Telephone, as per Nikkei Asia. The company, renowned for its innovative use of Japanese agricultural technology, has made a name for itself by producing premium, pesticide-free Japanese strawberries and cherry tomatoes within the controlled environment of U.S. indoor farms. This significant financial injection is earmarked for the construction of a sophisticated indoor farming facility in New Jersey, which aims to substantially increase the supply of its high-quality produce, as reported by AgFunder News. By focusing on quality over quantity, Oishii is redefining vertical farming through its commitment to taste, sustainability, and environmental stewardship.

Under the leadership of CEO Hiroki Koga since its inception in 2016, Oishii has effectively bridged traditional Japanese farming techniques with cutting-edge technology to cater to a high-end market, with its strawberries fetching as much as $11 for a pack of six. The recent funding announcement highlights the strong investor confidence in Oishii's approach to agriculture, which includes plans for a New Jersey facility equipped with on-site power generation, water recycling, and the integration of advanced robotics and AI to automate the entire farming process. This move, backed by strategic collaborations with entities like NTT and Yaskawa Electric, not only showcases a push towards fully automated farming systems but also underscores a global commitment to enhancing food security and promoting sustainable farming practices on a wider scale.

Fluence Unveils Next-Generation LED Lighting: Fluence has made significant strides in the agricultural industry by unveiling its latest LED lighting solutions, the RAPTR 2 and VYPR 4, designed for commercial cannabis and food production. These new offerings promise higher wattages, increased efficiencies, and an enhanced return on investment (ROI) for growers, setting new industry standards. Developed through Fluence's global research program, which includes partnerships and exhaustive in-house spectral optimization studies, these innovations aim to bolster Fluence's portfolio with advanced technology that meets the nuanced needs of modern agriculture. The RAPTR 2, with its tunable spectra and high light output, is particularly geared towards replacing less efficient HPS fixtures in greenhouses, while the VYPR 4's versatility and enhanced spectral options cater to a broad range of cultivation objectives, emphasizing improved light uniformity and intensities.

These advancements underscore Fluence's commitment to supporting the agricultural sector's evolution towards more sustainable and efficient practices. The RAPTR 2 stands out for its capability to deliver up to 5050 μmol/s light output and multi-channel tunable spectra, including far red, ensuring that it can seamlessly upgrade greenhouse lighting systems. On the other hand, the VYPR 4 builds on its predecessor's success by offering superior efficiency and spectral variety, aiming to meet the specific needs of different crops and cultivation stages. Both solutions embody Fluence's mission to "Help the world grow smarter" by integrating the latest LED technologies to enhance crop production while reducing energy consumption, a critical step forward in achieving more sustainable agricultural practices worldwide.

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