Singapore builds upon rooftop farming for food security

Rooftop farm of Edible Garden City, Singapore

Lacking sufficient agricultural space, Singapore is now boosting domestic food production by transforming more building rooftops into farmland.

The measures are not new, but have been accelerated as the coronavirus pandemic keeps disrupting global supply chains. The densely populated city-state produces only about ten per cent of its food needs.

Farming was once common in the country, but dwindled dramatically as Singapore developed into a financial hub packed with high-rises.

Since commercial farming in the land-scarce city was phased out in the 1980s with less than one per cent of Singapore’s 720 square-kilometer land mass usable for growing crops, a new type of entrepreneurs have found idle spaces where urban farms have mushroomed. Since 2014, more than 30 new commercial urban farms have sprouted on the roofs of malls, schools, warehouses and even the site of a former prison.

Farming on car park rooftops

New plans are now to turn at least nine car park rooftops in public housing estates into urban farms with government support of $22 million to boost local food production.

“The current Covid-19 situation underscores the importance of local food production, as part of Singapore’s strategies to ensure food security,” city officials tasked with the project said in a statement.

And there seems to be plenty of business to make out of it.

For example, one of the already established urban farms on the rooftop of a shopping mall, Edible Garden City, is now growing 50 varieties of food, including eggplants, rosemary, bananas, passion fruit and papayas amid the skyscrapers of Singapore’s business district. They products are mainly sold to restaurants or to consumers via an online platform.

However, the urban farming trend in Singapore is likely to remain limited to fruits and vegetables, as staples such as rice or wheat would require much more land to grow, and animal farming for meat production would be very complex and costly, if not impossible in urban conditions and in a business- and finance centered city where there are also not enough skilled farmers with the necessary experience.



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Rooftop farm of Edible Garden City, Singapore Lacking sufficient agricultural space, Singapore is now boosting domestic food production by transforming more building rooftops into farmland. The measures are not new, but have been accelerated as the coronavirus pandemic keeps disrupting global supply chains. The densely populated city-state produces only about ten per cent of its food needs. Farming was once common in the country, but dwindled dramatically as Singapore developed into a financial hub packed with high-rises. Since commercial farming in the land-scarce city was phased out in the 1980s with less than one per cent of Singapore’s 720 square-kilometer...

Rooftop farm of Edible Garden City, Singapore

Lacking sufficient agricultural space, Singapore is now boosting domestic food production by transforming more building rooftops into farmland.

The measures are not new, but have been accelerated as the coronavirus pandemic keeps disrupting global supply chains. The densely populated city-state produces only about ten per cent of its food needs.

Farming was once common in the country, but dwindled dramatically as Singapore developed into a financial hub packed with high-rises.

Since commercial farming in the land-scarce city was phased out in the 1980s with less than one per cent of Singapore’s 720 square-kilometer land mass usable for growing crops, a new type of entrepreneurs have found idle spaces where urban farms have mushroomed. Since 2014, more than 30 new commercial urban farms have sprouted on the roofs of malls, schools, warehouses and even the site of a former prison.

Farming on car park rooftops

New plans are now to turn at least nine car park rooftops in public housing estates into urban farms with government support of $22 million to boost local food production.

“The current Covid-19 situation underscores the importance of local food production, as part of Singapore’s strategies to ensure food security,” city officials tasked with the project said in a statement.

And there seems to be plenty of business to make out of it.

For example, one of the already established urban farms on the rooftop of a shopping mall, Edible Garden City, is now growing 50 varieties of food, including eggplants, rosemary, bananas, passion fruit and papayas amid the skyscrapers of Singapore’s business district. They products are mainly sold to restaurants or to consumers via an online platform.

However, the urban farming trend in Singapore is likely to remain limited to fruits and vegetables, as staples such as rice or wheat would require much more land to grow, and animal farming for meat production would be very complex and costly, if not impossible in urban conditions and in a business- and finance centered city where there are also not enough skilled farmers with the necessary experience.



Support ASEAN news

Investvine has been a consistent voice in ASEAN news for more than a decade. From breaking news to exclusive interviews with key ASEAN leaders, we have brought you factual and engaging reports – the stories that matter, free of charge.

Like many news organisations, we are striving to survive in an age of reduced advertising and biased journalism. Our mission is to rise above today’s challenges and chart tomorrow’s world with clear, dependable reporting.

Support us now with a donation of your choosing. Your contribution will help us shine a light on important ASEAN stories, reach more people and lift the manifold voices of this dynamic, influential region.

$
Personal Info

Donation Total: $10.00

 

 

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