Electronics company Sharp is trying its hand at growing strawberries.

Electronics company Sharp is trying its hand at growing strawberries. Credit: Randee Daddona

Although I appreciate the ideology, I'm not a strict locavore. I enjoy mangoes in New York, apples in summer and tomatoes during winter. O.K., I don't actually enjoy tomatoes during winter. I tolerate them. But you get the point. For the most part, I generally take my food from wherever it comes. Still, news this morning that electronics giant Sharp -- the TV and stereo manufacturer -- was getting into strawberry farming gave me pause. The sort of quizzical, speechless, squinted-eyed, tilted-head pause my dogs give me when the phone rings.

Apparently, the struggling company, which is based in Osaka, Japan, has plans to begin cultivating the fruit on a "factory scale basis" in 2015 within the Sharp Middle East Free Zone Establishment in Dubai, according to an article published this week on AJW Asahi Shimbun,  the English-language digital version of Japan's leading daily newspaper.

Sharp, which has put its technological savvy to work and developed a system that controls light, humidity and temperature, is banking on its new strawberry-growing endeavor to "grow into a new line of business that can help rebuild the company," the article states. It seems there's a market among wealthy Middle Easterners with a penchant for Japan's sweet strawberries, which, understandably, can't otherwise be grown in the desert.

I can think of worse ways to make a comeback.

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