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AFN in Singapore: Urban agriculture

In today’s post, I will like to discuss the AFN seen in the Singapore context, and discuss how it may cause less environmental pollution (in terms of fuel consumption) than the Skagit County case study.

Unlike the Skagit County whose farmers have to feed the residents of the bigger Seattle Metropolis, Singapore’s AFN farmers will only have to feed Singaporeans. This is because Singapore is a city-state. Any AFN within Singapore and eat local initiatives would have to be in the form of urban agriculture.

Introducing A-go-grow Vertical farming

In the case of Singapore, a fully urbanised city-state, locally grown produce accounts approximately 7% of the market share (Mnd.gov.sg, 2011). Singapore faces severe land scarcity and increasingly, there have been AFN initiatives within the homes and urban areas. Skygreen, is a commercial farm in Singapore that adopts vertical farming.

Vertical Farming “Skygreens”

Sky Greens’ patented vertical farming system consists of rotating tiers of growing troughs mounted on a A-shape aluminium frame. The frame can be as high as 9 meter tall with 38 tiers of growing troughs, which can accommodate the different growing media of soil or hydroponics. The troughs rotate around the aluminium frame to ensure that the plants receive uniform sunlight, irrigation and nutrients as they pass through different points in the structure. Unlike the “Light Fantastic” which uses pink LED light to boost the crops growth, SkyGreen claims that only natural light is employed. But of course, Singapore is located at the Equator, and the insolation and radiation we receive is more consistent (no seasonality) than the temperate countries using the LED light to power the crops’ growth.

Lower Energy and water Use

Rotation is powered by a unique patented hydraulic water-driven system which utilises the momentum of flowing water and gravity to rotate the troughs. Only 40W  electricity (= one light bulb) is needed to power one tower.Also, unlike the water-inefficient milk production on diary farms, the crops are irrigated and fertilised using a flooding method, thus there is no need for a sprinkler system. This eliminates electricity wastage, as well as water wastage due to run-offs. Only 0.5 litres of water is needed to rotate the 1.7 ton vertical structure. The water is contained in a enclosed underground reservoir system and is recycled and reused.

That’s all for Today!

Stay Tuned 😀

Work Cited:

Inhabitat.com, (2015). The World’s First Commercial Vertical Farm Opens in Singapore. [online] Available at: http://inhabitat.com/the-worlds-first-commercial-vertical-farm-opens-in-singapore/sky-greens-singapore-worlds-first-vertical-farm-2/ [Accessed 13 Mar. 2015].

Mnd.gov.sg, (2011). Urban Sustainability R&D Congress. [online] Available at: http://www.mnd.gov.sg/urbansustainability/2011/food.html [Accessed 13 Mar. 2015].