Domestic Solution Culture Market: Key Research Findings 2018

Yano Research Institute (the President, Takashi Mizukoshi) has conducted a survey on the solution culture system market for 2018 and has clarified the market trends, trends of market players, and the future outlook.

Figure1. Transition of Market Size of Solution Culture Systems by Method
Figure1. Transition of Market Size of Solution Culture Systems by Method

Market Overview

It has been said for some time about domestic agriculture suffering from shortage in the number of workers and successors and from difficulty in earning assured income at farms.  In addition to this, in recent years there are such problems as higher consciousness in food safety and security, which have led more consumers to ask for the produce with fewer chemicals, which is costing more.

In such a status, solution culture has been paid attention as one of the solutions against various challenges.  Because solution culture prevents replant failure stemming from bad weathers and diseases, and enables cultivation at those areas supposed to be geographically inappropriate and saves labor due to unnecessity of land plowing using machinery/devices or of weed controlling and soil disinfection.  In addition, it allows year-round culture so that production efficiency per square area rises and keeps freshness of produce when shipping.  The solution culture systems market in 2017 has attained 9,092 million yen, 103.2% on a year-to-year basis, which in 2018 is likely to be 9,141 million yen or 100.5% of the size of the previous year.

Noteworthy Topics

There are following reasons for expansion of solution culture: 1) Square areas for protected horticulture have become larger and larger; 2) Growing number of companies have entered the market from different industries; 3) Abolishment of the rice production adjustment program has caused some locality to shift to horticultural crops; 4) Construction of large-scale plant factories has increased; 5) Increasing number of those agricultural facilities attached to the facilities for the elderly and/or handicapped people has introduced protected horticulture.

Future Outlook

The solution culture systems are likely to be extensively accepted in the locality and areas where protected horticulture is not yet adopted, i.e., the enterprises newly entering into agricultural business, new agricultural workers, and the locality planning to shift from rice to garden crops.  In addition, protected horticulture is a promising method also for other countries including China which has desert and some higher-temperature regions where soil culture is not available.

Research Outline

1.Research Period: From April to June, 2018
2.Research Object: Makers of protected horticulture materials, liquid fertilizers, and leading protected horticulture producers, and etc.
3.Research Methogology: Face-to-face interviews by the expert researchers and survey via telephone

What is Solution Culture?
Solution culture is a method of cultivating produce and plants by means of culture solution (solution with fertilizers dissolved into water) without soil.  There are several types of solution culture which include: Hydroponics where roots of plants grow within or on the surface of culture solution without the use of culture medium; Solution culture using various types of solid growth medium in the place of soil; and Others such as spraying hydroponic method, which sprays solutions at the root of the plants without using culture media (quoted from the documents by Hydroponic Society of Japan).

What is Solution Culture Market?
The solution culture market in this research only include devices and apparatus needed for solution culture, and the types of plants cultivated through the solution culture indicated above include fruits and vegetables, green vegetables, root vegetables, fruit trees, flowers and ornamental plants.

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