Food Security From Urban Farming In Singapore

Ser Seng Herbs (Turtle) Restaurant Editor

May 10, 2022

Singapore is known for its mouthwatering delicacies, whether the black chicken herbal soup or the herbal turtle soup. Apart from being delicious, the food items also offer multiple health benefits. 

As a tourist destination known for its vibrant delicacies, food security is a key issue for the country of Singapore. With plans to produce 30% of their own food by 2030, Singapore aims to increase their food security through Urban Farming. Currently, Singapore only produces 10% of its own food, but with this ambitious goal in mind, they hope to change that. 

The food items that have the potential for increased domestic production comprise:

  • Vegetables
  • Eggs
  • Fish

Even alternative proteins like plant-based and lab-grown meats can contribute to their goal of sustainable food consumption. In 2020, 238 new farms were licensed in Singapore to produce alternative proteins.

The Singapore Food Agency has adopted the “three food baskets” strategy to ensure food security. This boosts local food production via funding for agriculture research and technology adoption, creative planning of farming spaces, and multiple efforts to amp up local farmers’ community support.

Let’s look at the three ways Singapore’s urban farms are improving food security

1. Using Hydroponics On Parking Structure Roofs

Singapore is witnessing multiple hydroponic farms that are on top of car parks.

Car parks are a typical structure present in almost every neighbourhood in Singapore.

Citiponics was the first commercial farm on a multi-storey car park in a residential neighbourhood. Today, multiple successful bidding proposals comprise multiple proposals for hydroponic and vertical farming systems that include various features like automated climate control IoT, blockchain technology, and sites that have the potential to produce around 16,000 tons of vegetables annually.

2. Installing Urban Farms Into Existing Buildings

Today Singapore witnesses multiple urban farms in existing buildings, be it residential spaces or office spaces. One such instance is Sustenir Agriculture, which has built an indoor vertical farm that can roof-fit into existing structures. The company is growing food that cannot be produced locally, displacing imports, and cutting carbon emissions.

3. Building Greenhouses For Urban Farms In Tropical Climates

The city has multiple greenhouses that occupy reused spaces: former schoolyards, old buildings, or lands. The greenhouses support customised designs that suit the tropical climate allowing for better air circulation. The produce of these greenhouses can easily cater to small local markets.

Apart from this, Singapore is also heavily supporting tech adoption in local farms. The Agriculture Productivity Fund (APF) helps local farms strengthen their capabilities and increase their productivity.

The government has also set aside $144 million for research and innovation to improve the food security of urban farms.

This programme focuses on three key areas:

  1. Boosting sustainable urban food production
  2. Advancing biotech based protein production
  3. Development of innovations in food safety science

Although Singapore has set an overambitious goal of producing their food by 2030, it is the long-run high production of food within Singapore that will need a sustainable market of consumers.

After all, this plan will only be a success if the support of Singaporeans backs it.

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