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Sharp uses its tech to tap into Dubai's hunger for strawberries

Posting in Finance

Sharp Corp., the company that makes LCD TVs, DVD players, mobile phones and other consumer electronics, is now growing strawberries.

The company said it has started lab tests in Dubai, United Arab Emirates to assess a new Japanese strawberry-growing facility there. The company aims to commercialize the facility and ultimately launch a plant factory engineering business.

In other words, Sharp's new business venture isn't about selling strawberries. It's about selling their expertise to design, build and maintain plant-growing factories.

Japanese strawberries are sold for high prices in overseas markets such as the Middle East. And since strawberries are perishable and quick to spoil, distributing them overseas has always been difficult, Sharp said.

The company will use its tech to create an ideal environment to grow strawberry indoors in a local facility to bypass the risk of shipping the product overseas.

Sharp is using its own LEDs, "plasmaculster" tech for managing air quality and other company equipment for monitoring room temperature and humidity. The company will collect data on its strawberry cultivation techniques and use it to achieve stable production.

Photo from Flickr user Denim Dave

Photo: David Lenker

— By on September 26, 2013, 1:33 AM PST

Kirsten Korosec

Contributing Editor

Kirsten Korosec has written for Technology Review, Marketing News, The Hill, BNET and Bloomberg News. She holds a degree from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. She is based in Tucson, Arizona. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure