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"By using polyester fabrics as a cultivation medium instead of ground soil, this new method will help protect Fukushima farmers from harmful rumours that may stem from consumers' concerns over soil contamination," says Prof Takahiro Hayashi from Kinki University, which is helping to run the project.
Local farmers are hoping to expand production and plan to set up an agricultural corporation later this year. One of them, 76-year-old Yukichi Takahashi, wants the flowers to be seen by a global audience. "My dream is that our flowers will be used in bouquets to be presented to athletes on the podium during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics," he says.
Fukushima farmers grow plants with polyester 'soil'