Your browser may block some cookies by default. By clicking, you agree to allow our advertising partners to place their cookies and serve you more relevant ads. Visit our privacy policy page to view our privacy policy or opt-out.
landscape-2389023_1280-1506121868131-1506121871436.jpg
Source: Kanenori/Pixabay

Farmers In Japan To Merge Mushroom Growing With Solar Energy

By Tessa Love

As rural populations shrink and small farms struggle to survive, farmers in Japan are turning to a new a crop: cloud ear mushrooms, grown under the solar panels that are replacing farms throughout the country.

An estimated 10 percent of Japanese farmland is not in use, despite a great need for more agriculture; interestingly, the majority of food in Japan is imported from other countries. In the past, the government has discouraged companies from converting farmland to fields of solar panels, but a change in regulations in 2013 made it legal to do so, as long as the panels didn't replace farms. How can they possibly work? Easy: They can construct solar panels alongside farms. The challenge here, of course, is that farmers need to choose crops that require little light. 

Enter the mushroom.