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Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1

How long does it take to start the operation of the plant factory?

Generally, it takes 5 - 8 months to plan your business, decide on your system, construct your factory, and get you prepared with the basic vegetable production skills through the training provided by InLoCo*. *The training might take longer, depending on how experienced and familiar you are with agriculture or related work.

Question 2

What do I need to prepare to enter the plant factory business?

First, if you are thinking of a commercial plant factory, you must come up with plans for business operation, planting scheduling, and marketing and product distribution. Although these research and planning stages are time-consuming processes, careful planning is the key to success in the plant factory business.
You also need to prepare the location for the future plant factory. Carefully considering the location, you need to choose an optimal crop growing system to satisfy your goals.
Then, you need to prepare / order the necessary system equipment and the construction materials. Plans can be very detailed and specific, to cover all the necessary materials for the construction.
After construction, you are finally ready to grow crops. Before commencing the commercial operation of the plant factory, we strongly recommend you to be skilled and educateded in a series of basic crop production techniques, including basic knowledge of how to control the environment of the plant factory.

Question 3

Is the plant factory business really profitable?

It largely depends on how you operate the factory. It is often reported that some major plant-factory company goes bankrupt or that most of on-going plant-factory companies are experiencing financial difficulties. HOWEVER, it is very possible to make acceptable profit with thorough planning for maximizing operating efficiency, for adding extra brand value to high-quality products, and for marketing products to meet the public's needs and demands. Public interest in safe and highly nutritious foods is rising. We predict the importance and necessity of the plant factory to continue to increase in the coming years.

Question 4

I have no experience or knowledge of plant factories or agriculture. Can I still start in the plant factory business?

Yes, you can, with careful planning and some support. The key components for a success in the plant factory business are know-how in plant production, processing, and distribution and marketing, all of which need to be optimized. If you can overcome these three challenges, you are on your way to success in the plant factory business. InLoCo. can offer years of accumulated knowledge and expertise to support you in all of these areas.

Question 5

Can I grow any vegetable crops?

In theory, yes. But, you might need to install an appropriate crop production system for the vegetable of your choice. Furthermore, you need to consider the cost and the estimated profitability of the vegetable production to be commercially successful.

Question 6

How much does it cost to start a plant factory?

The initial investment cost totally depends on the size and the purpose of the plant factory.
The initial investment and the operating cost is affected by how large your production scale is, what you grow, and the location of the plant factory. Beyond the initial investment, operating costs such as utilities (water, heating, and electricity) and labor need to be carefully integrated into your initial business plan.

Question 7

Is the work in the plant factory physically demanding?

Normally, the daily work in the plant factory is not as physically demanding as conventional outdoor farming. There are some job-specific, light physical tasks, such as climbing up a ladder, washing equipment, seeding in the same position for an extended period of time, and so on.

Question 8

What are the challenges and the benefits of a plant factory?

The main challenges are 1. To keep the price of the products low while balancing them with the high cost of initial investment and operation, 2. To gain from consumers an understanding of how the price of the products corresponds to their high quality and added nutritional value.
The main benefits of plant factory products are 1. Safe and clean crop production without any use of harmful chemicals completely pesticide-free, and 2. Stable price, supply, and quality (secure food production).

Question 9

Can I visit a plant factory?

If you are considering purchasing our produce or a plant factory facility, you can arrange a visit to InLoCo's factories in Okinawa. We are also open to a public visit, however, we might not be able to accommodate an unscheduled visit on your desired date due to prior reservations. Please forgive us for any inconvenience in advance.