How Singapore's agritech startups help strengthen domestic food security

Many of us might be surprised to hear that Singapore actually has farmers — and these are not farmers from the kampung that many of us may imagine when we think of the agriculture industry in Southeast Asia. Instead, the agritech and agrifood industry in Singapore is quintessentially Singaporean, incorporating technology in their processes in order to achieve better outcomes. 

The clearest example of this is urban farming. In contrast to using large, open tracts of land for crops, buildings become the key location for agriculture instead. Building rooftops or even custom-built buildings can be used to produce food and alleviate Singapore’s dependence on foreign imports.

SFA and the Housing Development Board (HDB) launched a tender in May 2020 for rooftop farms on public housing car parks.

For one, Citiponics operates a 1,800 square meter farm atop a multi-story car park in Ang Mo Kio, growing between three and four tons of pesticide-free vegetables a month. Founded in 2016, Citiponics aims to grow safe produce through its zero-waste farming process. It has a proprietary vertical farming technology called Aqua-Organic System (AOS) — this falls under a solid-based soilless culture, which is different from the likes of traditional farming and hydroponic farming system.

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