Singapore high-tech farms seek to export not just produce but their technology too

Some farms in Singapore are leveraging technology to boost yields, but one high-tech farming company here is now looking to sell more than just its produce. Local vegetable company Sky Urban Solutions on Tuesday (March 16) launched a new micro-farming system that combines aquaculture, vertical vegetable farming and customisable spaces for storage or more, which it wants to export around the world.

Such novel solutions that agri-food tech companies develop here not only addresses Singapore's food security challenges but could help other countries as well, said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing at the launch event.

He added that having a portfolio of different agri-tech technologies that address various challenges here - such as systems that make more efficient use of water or energy, or those that allow alternative crops such as potatoes to be grown - would allow Singapore to use them to scale up local production when needed, even if they are not implemented during normal times.

 Sky Urban Solutions' modular aquaculture system is used for rearing food fish such as tilapia and sultan fish on the ground floor in tanks built in freight containers. Above the containers is a greenhouse with the company's signature tiered system it uses at its Sky Greens farm in Lim Chu Kang to grow crops like cai xin and xiao bai cai.

The size of the micro-farm, for instance, can be customised depending on the needs of the farmers, said Sky Urban Solutions project executive Norman Koh. As the base is made up of the freight containers, the footprint of the entire operations is customisable to size requirements.

Other than for housing fish tanks, the freight containers can also be used for other purposes, such as rooms for cold storage or processing, farm stays or meeting rooms for offsite business meetings, Mr Koh added.

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