A Study on Demand Forecasting of Wholesale Markets of Lettuces for Production Planning in Plant Factories
Nobuhiro Sugimura*,, Nguyen Quang Thinh**, Shohei Kohama***, Yutaka Fukui*, and Koji Iwamura**
2-5-1 Katayamacho, Suita, Osaka 564-0082, Japan
**Osaka Prefecture University, Sakai, Japan
***IHI Corporation, Tokyo, Japan
Much emphasis is now being placed on the research and development of fully closed and controlled plant factories aimed at supplying fresh vegetables safely and constantly. Plant factories produce large volumes of clean and safe vegetables in an artificially controlled environment. One of the important issues in the management and control of plant factories is establishing systematic methods for planning the production and shipping of daily produced vegetables to various customers, such as supermarkets, vegetable shops, and restaurants. Customer demand is influenced by the sales in the individual shops and trade volumes, and prices in the wholesale markets of the vegetables, since the share of the plant factory-made vegetables is very small. Systematic methods are required for the management and control of plant factories to forecast both orders from individual customers and wholesale market conditions. In the previous study, the market situations and the trading processes of the factory-made lettuces were investigated, and a market model was proposed to simulate the trading processes between the customers and the plant factories. This study deals with demand forecasting of wholesale markets for vegetables, aimed at taking into consideration the wholesale market conditions for production planning in plant factories.
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