Vertical Farming The Future Of Urban Food?
SkyGreen in Singapore may be the largest vertical farming project in the world
In Singapore, the challenge of feeding a growing population is pushing the concept of urban farming to new heights. 90 percent of vegetables are imported into Singapore, one of the most densely populated places on Earth. A super-efficient vertical farming system is producing greens for 5 million residents. It is efficient, costs less than running a traditional farm, has lower transit costs and the energy used is the equivalent of a light bulb. It brings fresh vegetables to nearby markets. The project has been a success and is quadrupling in size.
“Can we supply enough food for everyone on the planet?” is a question plaguing leaders around the world. In Singapore SkyGreen offers one example of how this might be possible, “not just technically, but economically”. By increasing their food security while reducing the impact of food production on global climate change, SkyGreen is 10 times more productive per square foot than conventional farming.
SkyGreen sees the following benefits
- Increases productivity The production yield of Sky Greens Farm is 5 to 10 times more per unit area compared to other traditional farms growing leafy vegetables using conventional methods in Singapore.
- Vegetables tastes good Tropical leafy vegetables are grown in special soil-based media, which contribute to good tasting vegetables, suitable for stir-fry and soups. The vegetables are harvested everyday and delivered almost immediately to retail outlets to consumers.
- Year round production As the vertical farm structures are in protected-outdoor green houses, the vegetables are grown in a controlled environment, protected from pests, wind and floods.
- Consistent and reliable harvest Steady supply of fresh leafy vegetables is assured as growing is done in a controlled environment.
- Easy to install and easy to maintain The modular A-frame rotary system allows quick installation and easy maintenance.
- Better ergonomics & automation The rotary system allows the troughs to be immediately adjusted for easy harvesting. Automation at the farm also means more productive workers per ton of vegetables produced.
- Space saving The footprint of the vertical system is small but yet can produce significantly more per unit area than traditional farms. It can also be customized to suit different crop requirements and varying environment,
- Environmentally friendly high-tech farm Sky Greens observes, learns and works with nature to achieve sustainability for the good of the environment and to grow safe, high quality and fresh vegetables using green technologies for consumers in Singapore.
- Low energy usage Outdoor green houses have abundant sunlight in the tropics. The A-Go-Gro system uses patented low carbon hydraulic green technology to power the rotation of the tower at very low energy costs, while still allowing the plants to get more than adequate sunlight.
- Low water usage As the troughs of plants rotate, it is irrigated using an innovative flooding method, using very little water. Water is also recycled and reused.
- Waste & water management Sustainable water management practices are utilized on the the farm. All organic wastes are composted at the farm to ensure the use of high quality and safe fertilizers.
- Green technologies Green technologies are stringently adopted at the farm to achieve the 3R (reduce, reuse and recycle).