Tokyo residents are used to going underground to find food at basement supermarkets and restaurants — now one firm is taking the process a step further by planning a subterranean farm.

A 1,000 sq metre former bank vault under an office building in Otemachi, a central Tokyo business district, has been chosen as the site for a high-tech farm growing lettuce, tomatoes, herbs strawberries and rice, the national daily Asahi said on Sunday.

The project is aimed at helping the Japanese capital’s jobless to train for careers in agriculture, the paper said.

The underground location will allow complete electronic control of the environment with artificial lighting and heating. Plants at the “vegetable factory” will be grown hydroponically, or in a solution of nutrients, rather than soil, the Asahi said.

If the farm is a success after its first harvest in the spring, Kanto Employment Creation Organisation together with recruitment agency Pasona plan to open more basement farms, the Asahi said.

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