KHABAROVSK, September 19 (RIA Novosti) – Japanese company Mirai Co. and Russia's LLC Agricultural Technologies of the Future have signed an agreement to create a major lettuce factory in the Khabarovsk region, local authorities said on Friday.
"The agreement stipulates the industrial production of 47 kinds of lettuce culture in Khabarovsk, using Mirai's Green Room technologies. Similar enterprises operate in Japan, Hong Kong and Mongolia. Investment in the project amounts to about $8 million. Production will commence in September 2015," according to the statement, published on the Khabarovsk government's official website.
Both sides have already signed a number of contracts regarding stable seeds prices and the provision of production equipment. Japanese experts will act as consultants to their Russian colleagues during the construction of the facility.
Local building company LLC DV Stroi has been chosen as the general contractor for the project.
The "factory" will enable lettuce to be grown hydroponically, using high-tech automatic systems to ensure efficient production. Genetically modified materials and chemical pesticides are strictly forbidden in the production.
According to Khabarovsk's Minister of Agriculture Alexander Yatsa, there are already three companies in the region specializing in lettuce production.
"There are quite a lot of serious applications of this market, with the prospect of growing not only lettuces, but also vegetables and flowers. This is quite an open niche, as the region only provides about 10 percent of its own demand for leafy greens. But this figure can be increased to 60 percent," Yatsa said.
In addition to the Russian-Japanese project, a number of lettuce crop facilities will be set up by both Russian and foreign companies in the region in the next 2-3 years, the minister informed.