Friday, April 22, 2011

Singapore successfully developed a vertical farming system prototype

Singapore has successfully developed a vertical farming system prototype, which could help the land-scarce Republic maximize its production of leafy vegetables.

Vertical farming is a technique of producing agricultural products at multiple levels, conserving land space in the process.

A six-meter tall structure rotates at one millimeter per second, distributing sunlight to all the plants.

Water powers the system and is constantly being recycled, keeping energy consumption low.

The system is also affordable too. One of the frames costs about S$10,000.
The prototype was developed by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and private firm DJ Engineering.

During his visit to the farm, Minister for National Development Mah Bow Tan said he is impressed with the system.

Mr Mah said: "It can produce about five times the output of a normal farm, using the same area - per square metre of space, it's actually able to produce five times (more). So it's very suitable for Singapore's condition.

"So far, very encouraging. And hopefully, this will then be expanded and help us to achieve our target - we're trying to achieve 10 per cent local production of leafy vegetables."


Mr Mah and other visitors also had a chance to sample some of the vegetables.

Owner of DJ Engineering, Jack Ng, has set up the company Sky Greens to drive the commercialization of vertical farming.

Sky Greens expects the first crop of produce from the system to be available in major supermarkets by this year.

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