The prospect of growing crops in vertical farms directly inside of cities has been on the collective wish-list of environmentalists, sustainable developers, and futurists for quite some time now. And now it looks like it’s finally starting to happen.
Singapore now has its first commercial vertical farm, which means more local options for vegetables. The technique uses aluminium towers that are as tall as nine metres, and vegetables are grown in troughs at multiple levels.
The technique utilises space better — an advantage for land-scarce Singapore.
Sky Greens farm first started working on the prototype in 2009, and has opened a 3.65-hectare farm in Lim Chu Kang.
It produces three types of vegetables which are currently available only at FairPrice Finest supermarkets. They cost 10 to 20 cents more than vegetables from other sources.
Despite the higher prices, the greens have been flying off supermarket shelves. But prices may drop as the farm ramps up supply.
The farm currently has 120 vertical towers, and hopes to increase the number to 300 by next year. This will increase its current daily supply of vegetables from 0.5 tonnes to two tonnes by 2013.