The cultivation of Japanese native wasabi is the most recent addition to Hong Kong's high-tech vertical farming boom. Harvests of wasabi, a staple ingredient in Japanese cuisine, have fallen by 60% in Japan over the last 15 years, and this startup in Hong Kong is filling in the gap.

Gordon Tam Chi-ho, the founder of hydroponic company Farm66, has partnered with a Japanese conglomerate to create a HK$10.1 million (US$1.3 million) deal to cultivate the prized horseradish in Hong Kong and Japan, the South China Morning Post reports.

Tam has created an all-weather, controlled environment for the wasabi by designing 44-foot containers with racks and a lighting, irrigation, and ventilation system.

He is conducting tests on his 20,000-square-foot farm to determine the best growing conditions. Tam discovered that the leaves grew larger under white light, whereas the stems grew longer under a combination of red and blue light.