“It’s not a competition between urban farms and landed farms; it’s a question of relevance,” he said. “You have to ask: what works best in a city like Singapore?
By Rina Chandran
Jan 7, 2018
Visitors to Singapore’s Orchard Road, the city’s main shopping belt, will find fancy malls, trendy department stores, abundant food courts – and a small farm.
Comcrop’s 600-square-metre (6,450-square-foot) farm on the roof of one of the malls uses vertical racks and hydroponics to grow leafy greens and herbs such as basil and peppermint that it sells to nearby bars, restaurants and stores.
The farm’s small size belies its big ambition: to help improve the city’s food security.
Comcrop’s Allan Lim, who set up the rooftop farm five years ago, recently opened a 4,000-square-metre farm with a greenhouse on the edge of the city.
He believes high-tech urban farms are the way ahead for the city, where more land cannot be cultivated.
“Agriculture is not seen as a key sector in Singapore. But we import most of our food, so we are very vulnerable to sudden disruptions in supply,” Lim said.
“Land, natural resources and low-cost labor used to be the predominant way that countries achieved food security. But we can use technology to solve any deficiencies,” he said.
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