Singapore: Rice grown successfully inside vertical farm in block of flats

Growing rice the traditional paddy field way requires a lot of water and land, and is dependent on weather conditions. So, it comes as a pleasant surprise to many to find out that rice can actually be grown in Singapore. What's more, the use of paddy fields are not even required, as rice here can be grown on a vertical farm mounted to the wall of Block 146 Tampines Avenue 5.

On February 12 morning, Tampines GRC Members of Parliament attended the rice harvesting ceremony at the block. The MPs threshed the rice to loosen out the rice grains from the stalks at the ceremony to signify a bountiful Year of the Tiger.

The variant of rice grown at the vertical high-tech farm at Block 146 is the Temasek Rice. They were initiated in the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory greenhouse before being transplanted to the vertical farm in October 2021. Prior to growing rice at the block, the laboratory conducted trials and optimized technologies to grow the rice at an experimental vertical farming structure in Lim Chu Kang.

The six-story vertical farm at Block 146 is managed by local company Netatech, which specializes in using micro-drip technology and rainwater harvesting to reduce the resources needed to grow food crops. The farm grows rice at the top floor, while the other floors are occupied by vegetables, such as naibai and Hong Kong kai lan.

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