PBS: Singapore Looks Skyward to Take Farming in New Directions
Singapore’s skyline is not just a point of pride for residents, it can also be a source of fresh produce. As part of the NewsHour’s series “Food for 9 Billion,” special correspondent Sam Eaton reports on Singapore’s vertical solution to the challenge of feeding a growing population in an urban environment.
“Sky Greens” – Singapore’s vertical farm
By Sam Eaton
June 12, 2013
Fifty-year-old entrepreneur Jack Ng, an engineer by training, is the farm’s owner and designer.
Translucent structures nearly four stories tall line the property. On the inside, automated towers of vegetables rotate like ferris wheels in slow motion between a nutrient-infused bath below and the sun above. Ng says each tower is powered by a gravity-fed water wheel. It’s an ancient technology with a modern twist.
Ng says one of the biggest benefits of this closed loop hydraulic system is how little energy it consumes.
Lee Sing Kong, Director, National Institute of Education: Singapore is currently looking very much into urban production. I think, eventually, urban factories for vegetable production will take place in place of electronic factories in Singapore.
Whatever we produce in Singapore must compete with the prices of vegetables coming into Singapore. So that’s why the government in Singapore is now encouraging and emphasizing models of urban farming that can really not just increase productivity, but also lowering cost of production.