Is growing organic vegetables in Singapore a feasible solution?

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Is growing organic vegetables in Singapore a feasible solution? by Mind Map: Is growing organic vegetables in Singapore a feasible solution?

1. No

1.1. Singapore has limited land

1.1.1. According to the World Bank, only 1% of the land in Singapore is dedicated to agricultural purposes.

1.1.2. Limited land leads to land lease issues, where land lease is only issued only for a duration of 3 years, and farmers are not able to know if their leases will be renewed thereafter.

1.1.3. According to Straits Times, 62 farms in Lim Chu Kang had to move out between 2017 and 2021 to make way for army training grounds.

1.2. High cost of land and technology

1.2.1. Funding required to start up the industry may be too high due to sophisticated technology required for urban farming.

1.2.2. Cost of maintenance for the technology used is also high.

1.2.3. Leads to low profitability as food prices are low, but costs of producing and land are high.

1.2.4. Prices of local produce are estimated to be 15% higher than imported vegetables

1.2.4.1. Due to higher labour costs and rent

1.3. Insufficient supply to meet consumer's demands

1.3.1. According to AVA in 2010, only 10,848 tonnes of leafy vegetables consumed were home-grown

1.3.1.1. That's 12% of the total vegetable consumption in Singapore

1.3.1.1.1. Meeting AVA's long-term plan to raise local production to 10% of the consumption rate

1.3.2. Singapore imports 90% of all food consumed here

1.4. Strong diplomatic relations

1.4.1. Singapore compensates for its small size and scarce land and water resources by being strategically located in an agriculturally rich region and by having a deep natural harbour

1.4.1.1. Boasting one of the best airports and harbours.

1.4.2. Main Suppliers

1.4.2.1. Australia and NZ (Beef and Mutton)

1.4.2.2. Malaysia (fruits, vegetables, fresh chicken and seafood)

1.4.2.3. Brazil (frozen chicken meat)

1.5. Legal difficulties

1.5.1. Must clear BCA code of buildings to check the rooftop maximum load

1.5.2. Risk of water logging may breed mosquitoes, hence Comcorp rears fishes to eat the larvaes

1.5.2.1. AVA has to be informed and involved in the business process. Needs clearance from AVA

1.5.2.2. Water drainage is used in the aquaponics hence, Comcrop has to get clearance from PUB

2. Yes

2.1. Urban farming technologies help

2.1.1. Vertical farming

2.1.1.1. One example of vertical farming in Singapore is a collaborative effort between Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore and Sky Greens. According to United Nations University, Sky Greens Director Jack Ng created a vertical farming system which he nicknamed "A Go-Grow".

2.1.1.1.1. It consists of a series of aluminium towers — some of them up to nine metres high — each containing 38 tiers equipped with troughs for the vegetables.

2.1.1.1.2. Each tower consumes only 60 watts of power daily — about the same amount as a single light bulb.

2.1.1.1.3. In keeping with Sky Greens’ focus on environmental sustainability, the water used to power the rotating towers is recycled within the system and eventually used to water the vegetables.

2.1.1.1.4. Ng knew that if the system was too expensive or complicated, urban farmers would not be able to survive. And given that he designed the project with retirees and other housebound farmers in mind.

2.1.1.1.5. The multi-layered vegetable tower rotates very slowly, taking some eight hours to complete a full circle. As the plant travels to the top it absorbs ample sunlight and when it comes back down it is watered from a tray that is fed by the hydraulic system that drives the rotation of the tower. This closed cycle system is easy to maintain and doesn’t release any exhaust.

2.1.1.1.6. Sky Greens towers currently produce three vegetables popular with locals — nai bai, xiao bai cai and Chinese cabbage — which can be harvested every 28 days.

2.1.2. Soil cultivation

2.1.2.1. According to AVA, more than 80% of the leafy vegetables produced are derived from soil cultivation.

2.1.2.2. One of the main farm utilising soil cultivation in Singapore is Koh Fah Technology Farm.

2.1.2.2.1. The farm opened in 1992 and produces about 1400 tonnes of vegetables annually. This amounts to 14% of the local vegetables produced for the domestic market.

2.1.3. Hydroponics cultivation

2.1.3.1. One of the main farm utilising hydroponic cultivation in Singapore is Oh Chin Huat Hydroponic Farms.

2.1.3.1.1. It has a total land area of 2.4 hectares, with more than 200 units of modular growing houses produces over 300 kilogrammes of vegetables daily.

2.2. On the individual level, it is highly possible for residents to grow their own vegetables.

2.2.1. For example, residents can start by growing small pots of herbs or vegetables in the kitchen or along HDB corridors. For residents staying on private or landed properties, they can do some farming in their backyard as well.

2.2.2. One of the main challenge with domestic farming is the lack of knowledge on gardening and farming. However, residents can join communities such as Grow Your Own Food in Singapore, which is an online platform where Singaporeans can exchange nuggets of information about gardening practices, helpful for novice

2.3. Growing awareness of society on the importance of organic food and existence of urban farming

2.3.1. More efforts from schools that are undertaking urban farming in their compounds to promote self sufficiency and cultivate an interest in urban farming using innovative high tech and simple farming techniques. MOE efforts

2.3.2. Comcrop has seen a growing demand in herbs by 20% each month since last April 2014 and they are opening another rooftop farm in a food hub in Woodlands which is 10 times bigger than the current one at Scape.

2.4. Maximizing "marginalised land" for urban farming preventing wastage of spaces.

2.4.1. ComCrop builds its urban farm at the rooftop of Scape Mall in Orchard. They see this empty "useless" plot of land as a way to bring communities together and closer to the food source.

2.4.1.1. Students and elderly volunteers come to the farm during weekends to tend the farm and they are taught on how to grow their own food in hopes that they can share this knowledge and apply them to the heartland farms.

2.5. Feasible as a solution to food wastage.

2.5.1. Currently, food waste that is recycled is mainly homogenous food waste from food manufacturers, such as spent yeast/grains from beer brewing, soya bean and bread waste, which are segregated at source and sold to recyclers for conversion into animal feed.

2.5.1.1. 'The other foods can be converted to compost for landscaping purposes or non-potable water', which can also be used to raise the fertility of soil for organic farming.

2.6. Potential market for new exports that would benefit the market

2.6.1. A 2014 report by American market research company Grand View Research said that the organic food market is expected to expand by about 16 per cent, reaching an estimated total value of US$211.44 billion (S$295.4 billion) by 2020.

2.6.1.1. Singapore can potentially make economic gains and reduce the need to make imports of organic food from other countries

2.6.2. Currently Singapore imports most of its food from overseas and the organic food industry in Singapore is extremely small.

2.7. Increases the propensity of children to accept and consume fruits and vegetables.

2.7.1. Study conducted by the National institute for health in Finland showed that kindergarten students who are exposed to sensory based food education are more likely to consume them and lead a healthier lifestyle.

2.7.1.1. If urban organic farming was integrated in schools, students might be more willing to lead healthy lifestyles which involve the consideration of organic vegetables and fruits.

3. Yes to a certain extent

3.1. Food Security

3.1.1. Includes vertical farms and rooftop gardens

3.1.2. The need for R&D

3.1.2.1. Despite Singapore's diversification strategy to meet our food demands, we must constantly find ways to improve the efficiency of our local produce to combat our republic's lack of natural resources that is viable for farming

3.1.3. Singapore must diversify its food sources and raise local food production

3.1.3.1. To buffer against the uncertainty of overseas sources

3.1.3.1.1. We can't rely our food supply solely from one source, be it growing locally or import from a certain country

3.1.3.1.2. In order to reduce dependency on a single or a few exporting countries, Singapore must continue to find multiple sources for current food imports and explore innovative partnerships with those countries The Case for Urban Food Security: A Singapore Perspective (Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies)

3.1.3.1.3. For example, our leafy vegetables imported from Malaysia in April 2016 has reduced in supply due to the bad weather conditions. Lesser supply will mean higher demand which will drive the cost of the vegetables.

3.1.3.2. Local production is an important strategy in ensuring food supply resilience for Singapore (AVA)

3.1.4. Food Security at the national level depends also on regional and global food security

3.1.4.1. Growing organic vegetables in Singapore is a feasible solution only if it's intention is to act as a buffer against global food security. We cannot solely depend on local produce to meet our food demands.

3.1.5. Singapore is highly urbanized and dependent on food imports

3.2. Lack of crop diversity

3.2.1. Growing all of the consumer's demands locally will reduce the diversity of the vegetables

3.2.1.1. Some types of vegetables cannot be grown in Singapore's tropical climate

3.3. Balancing competing demands for land, water, energy and a growing population