Peter Barber: blazing a trail for rooftop farming in Singapore

The small island nation Singapore is modern, futuristic, and home to some of the most impressive buildings in the world. However, there is one thing that is hard to find in this skyscraper-studded country - farmland. With over five million people thronged on a landmass of just 715 square kilometers, Singapore has only 1% of its land available for agriculture. This explains why more than 90% of its food requirements come from other countries. Such heavy reliance on food imports makes it vulnerable to global supply shocks and price disruption, posing serious threats to its food security. Committed to changing this scenario, an ardent agricultural entrepreneur who is paving the way forward for sustainable urban farming in Singapore is Peter Barber, the CEO of ComCrop, a rooftop farming company in Singapore.

“What we have done with ComCrop is showing that it is possible to turn traditionally under-utilized or marginalized spaces, such as rooftop car parks, into controlled-environment food production eco-systems that are closer to consumers than ever before. This move is an important achievement in a country like Singapore where food security is a pressing issue,” Peter shares. 

ComCrop grows a variety of leafy greens and herbs on rooftops in the heart of Singapore. While shipping, most of its products are packed with roots still intact so that the vegetables continue to stay alive throughout the transportation process. This extends the lifespan of its vegetables in the fridge and minimizes the wastage that typically occurs during the shipping process, especially if from overseas. The farming company also offers instructional videos to encourage its customers to better understand and appreciate the growing process, thereby valuing its food more and wasting less. 

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