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News Release 2011
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07MAR2012 Investment in a Plant Factory Venture Company
- JGC's first foray into agribusiness -

Yokohama JapanJGC Corporation announced today that through private placement, it has acquired an 18% stake in Granpa Co., Ltd., a company specializing in the development and marketing of air-dome type greenhouses for indoor cultivation of fresh vegetables. JGC has made an investment of 100 million yen (approximate) and assigned one director(part-time)to sit on the Granpa Co. board. This investment marks JGC's first foray into the agribusiness.

In recent years, rapid population growth in emerging countries has sparked fears of a future global food shortage. Furthermore, within Japan, concerns have been growing about the need for production methods that ensure food safety, and the effect of extreme weather conditions on the national food supply. It is also projected that in the near future, many industrialized countries will be faced with supporting graying populations increasingly concentrated in urban centers. Addressing a shortage of agricultural land and agricultural labor will become key issues. Under these circumstances, plant factory systems making use of the latest IT and robotics have been attracting attention as a potential solution to food shortage problems and an effective method of ensuring food safety.

At present, Granpa Co. is developing and marketing "air-dome greenhouses" as a kind of plant factory, as well as selling produce cultivated in conventional glass greenhouses and air-dome greenhouses in Fujisawa and Hadano, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan. The air-dome greenhouses developed by Granpa Co. include unique sliding and rotation technology for automatic optimization of plant spacing. This high-level technology gives air-dome greenhouses an output of more than twice as much produce per square meter as that of conventional glass greenhouses. In addition, plant factory cultivation allows for a drastic reduction in the use of pesticides and fertilizers compared with conventional outdoor agriculture, providing consumers with a high level of assured food safety and fresh produce that can be eaten as-is without having to be washed first.

In JGC's new medium-term management plan, which came into effect in 2011, the company set forth the goal of expanding enterprise investment through participation in investment projects in sectors such as infrastructure for water and power generation, resource development, renewable energy, the environment, and agriculture. This project marks one more step toward reaching that goal.

With this investment, JGC aims to help Granpa Co. further improve air-dome technology to popularize industrialized agriculture, as well as contribute to the restoration of agriculture in disaster-hit areas of the Tohoku region. Further in the future, JGC hopes to move into the international market by creating package agricultural technology that can be applied in arid regions such as the Middle East and Africa, cold regions such as Russia, and countries like China where rapid urban development necessitates ever-stricter standards for food safety.

  Outline of Granpa Co., Ltd.
Address of head office No. 3 Fuji Building
3-12 Furou-chou, Naka-ku, Yokohama, Japan
Representative Takaaki Abe, President
Date of incorporation September 17th, 2004
Sales 300 million yen (2011, approximate figure)
Number of employees 17
(1) Development and implementation of enclosed mechanized agriculture systems
(2) Research and development of technology for cultivation of vegetables with high nutritional value
(3) Alliance with agricultural firms and producers
(4) Technology transfer to producers
(5) Cultivation and sale of agricultural produce
(6) Production and sale of processed foods

Air-dome green house (outside view)

Air-dome green house (inside view)


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