High-tech farms in Singapore take on cold-weather crops

In line with the Government's push for farming productivity in Singapore - such as the recently enhanced Agriculture Productivity Fund and the announcement that farmland would be set aside to promote high-tech farming - more farms are exploring new methods to grow crops previously thought to be impossible to cultivate in Singapore's climate.

One such farm is Sustenir, which grows hydroponic crops in a fully controlled environment. This includes making use of technology such as LED lights, air-conditioning ducts and an automated irrigation system to grow temperate produce such as kale, cherry tomatoes and strawberries.

Co-founder Benjamin Swan explained that the firm leverages technology to manipulate every facet of growth within the room, from humidity and temperature, to the nutrients in the water.

This has helped the farm cut the growth time of crops to two weeks - half the time needed at conventional farms - as well as customising its crops to fit customer preferences. For example, it has successfully modified the naturally fibrous and indigestible stems of kale crops to become edible.

Da Paolo Group is one eatery chain that sources its kale from the farm, and its group executive chef Andrea Scarpa said he found the produce "very comparable" to that found overseas.

Read more at Channel NewsAsia

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