Okinawa’s largest plant factory to be built in Ogimi

Okinawa's largest plant factory to be built in Ogimi

On August 7 at Yui no Hama in Shioya of Ogimi Village, Naoya Hamabata, Akinori Oba, Mayor Yoshihisa Shimabukuro, and Koichi Fuchikami (from left) celebrated the establishment of Ogimi Farm.

August 8, 2013 Ryukyu Shimpo

In October, the largest plant factory in Okinawa, that could produce 800,000 lettuce leaves per year, will start operating in Ogimi Village. On August 7, Ogimi Farm, which manages the factory, held a press conference to explain the establishment at a rental incubation factory at the Yui no Hama, a reclaimed area of Shioya Bay in Ogimi.

Using the mineral-rich spring water of Ogimi Village, they will cultivate plants hydroponically or in planters without chemical fertilizer. Of 15 full-time and part-time employees, they intend to hire 11 people with disabilities.

The general construction consultant Oba Group put in 100% of the funds invested in Ogimi Farm. The conference was attended by Akinori Oba, president of the Oba Group, Koichi Fuchikami, president of Ogimi Farm, Ogimi Mayor Yoshihisa Shimabukuro, and Naoya Hamabata, president of Espere, which has carried out support projects for people with disabilities in Nago and dispatched contract employees.

According to Fuchikami, three rooms with eight shelves and 12 rows planting shelve are set up in about 1,300 square meters of factory. At the beginning they will focus on growing leaf vegetables in planters and hydroponics at a 1-2 ratio respectively. The company adopted planter cultivation without using chemical fertilizer, with improved soil, which it developed itself.

They aim to achieve annual sales of 100 million yen by supplying vegetables to hotels and supermarkets. Fuchikami said, “We would like to respond to the needs of smaller restaurants, including for vegetables not produced in Okinawa.”
Rental factory space in Yui no Hama was all taken up after the company moved in. Mayor Shimabukuro said, “Making full use of Ogimi’s bountiful water supplies, I hope that the Ogimi brand of vegetables will become known in the outside world.”

(English translation by T&CT, Megumi Chibana and Mark Ealey)

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