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Category — Asia

Urban Farms Build Resilience Within Singapore’s Fragile Food System

A crew of volunteer “aunties” weed and harvest basil at the ComCrop rooftop farm, set high above Singapore’s Orchard Road. Photo by Maureen Pao for NPR.

Singapore imports more than 90 percent of its food from some 35 countries.

By Maureen Pao
August 20, 2014


Like other urban farms in Singapore, one of Sky Greens’ advantages is how little water it uses, relying primarily on collected and recycled rainwater. And its system of hydraulic-powered rotating troughs means less spent on electricity, and even less water is wasted.

“The troughs come down and go into the water and go up. So there’s no leaching of the water,” Ngiam explains. “If you are planting on the soil, what the farmer does is pour a lot of water, and then it just leaches out. For us, every drop is used by the plant.”

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August 28, 2014   No Comments

Proposed Floating Vertical Farms for Singapore


“We believe these types of initiatives can be applied closer to the existing and new emerging urban centers in order to help mitigate the future food issue.”

By Adele Peters
Fast Company
July 29, 2014


Architects from Barcelona-based design firm JAPA have proposed a new system of looping towers that could float in local harbors, providing new space for year-round crops. Called F.R.A., short for “floating responsive architecture,” the design is inspired in part by floating fish farms that have been in use locally since the 1930s.

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August 19, 2014   No Comments

Inside the World’s Largest Indoor Farm in Japan

A worker tends vegetables at the world’s largest “plant factory” on July 2, 2014. The Japanese factory produces 10,000 heads of lettuce a day. Photograph By Kyodo Via Ap.Click on image for larger file.

An abandoned Sony factory in Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, has been transformed into what could very well be the farm of the future.

By Gloria Dickie
National Geographic
July 17, 2014


Shigeharu Shimamura, a plant physiologist and CEO of Mirai, has constructed the world’s largest indoor farm—25,000 square feet of futuristic garden beds nurtured by 17,500 LED lights in a bacteria-free, pesticide-free environment. The result? About 10,000 heads of fresh lettuce harvested each day.

The unique “plant factory” is so efficient that it cuts food waste from the 30 to 40 percent typically seen for lettuce grown outdoors to less than 3 percent for their coreless lettuce. (Related: “Stop Wasting Food in the West and Feed the World.”)

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August 14, 2014   Comments Off

Saving the farm in Karang Gadon, Denpasar, Bali

Saving city farms: This rice farm, just eight kilometers from the city of Denpasar, is protected under a subak agreement. Adding terati or water lilies to rice field farming supplies extra income for farmers and helps keep them on the land.

At almost US$60,000 per 100 square meters, land near Bali’s capital city, Denpasar, is up there with some of the most expensive in the province.

Trisha Sertori
The Jakarta Post
July 31 2014


This figure is driving a boom in the housing industry and get-rich-quick schemes for middlemen, known locally as makler, some of whom work on the shady side of the law, impersonating officers from land agencies to con farmers into selling.

Holding out against the pressure applied by these makler is no easy task for farmers strapped for cash still working their lands near the city.

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August 9, 2014   Comments Off

Panasonic ventures into farming in Singapore, a land-scarce city-state

panaClick on image for larger file.

It aims to contribute five per cent to local supply by March 2017.

By Medilyn Manibo
Aug 8, 2014


The vegetables, produced within a 248 square metre indoor facility in Tuas, includes green lettuce, white radish, rocket lettuce, basil, mint herb, wild parsley, baby spinach.

Both leafy vegetables and root crops are currently cultivated within 35 days in soil-based environment and sustained with artificial lighting using LED lights. Panasonic said it is continuing its research and development to shorten the lead time to 28 days.

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August 8, 2014   Comments Off

3rd Annual Seoul Urban Agriculture Conference in Seoul, South Korea – Recap


The 3rd Annual Seoul Urban Agriculture Conference was held 29-31 May 2014 at the Seoul City Hall. This year’s theme was “Urban Agriculture and the Food Revolution”.

Submitted by Will Nichols
Professor, Hanyang University
Seoul, South Korea
July 2014


The Seoul metropolitan area is home to around 20 million people and is the capital of South Korea. South Korea enjoys a high standard of living and is known for its high-tech industries. However, like most industrialized countries, focus is now shifting to long-term sustainability of a high quality of life. The city of Seoul in recent years has seen a blossoming of new initiatives for greening the city environment, promoting healthy and local food systems and building strong communities. This conference was launched to bring together a diverse group of practitioners to discuss recent progress and future needs for the development of the urban agriculture to promote these initiatives.

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July 28, 2014   Comments Off

See Bangkok’s ‘Veggie Prince’ at home

See video here.

Video by Chumporn Sangvilert
Bangkok Post
02 Jul 2014

Nakorn “Prince” Limpakuptathavorn, aka Veggie Prince, encourages city people to start sustainable farming and they don’t have to wait until they’re retired. Prince also explains why farmers should continue what they do and hold their heads up high.

See video here.

July 13, 2014   Comments Off

An Abandoned Mall in Bangkok Becomes an Urban Aquarium

Photo by Jesse Rockwell.

At some point in the early 2000′s an unknown person began introducing a small population of exotic Koi and Catfish species.

By Jesse Rockwell
A Taste of the Road


Down a nondescript soi in old town Bangkok lies a relatively unknown hidden gem. Without a good knowledge of Bangkok geography, one would be hard pressed to believe anything interesting lies behind this gate.

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July 11, 2014   Comments Off

The Garden Project Kicks off First Pilot Program in Korea

A pilot program taking cue from the “therapeutic gardening” has been unveiled in Korea. (image: The Garden Project).

Offering mind-healing programs for senior citizens, children, and the handicapped

By Lina Jang
Korea Bizware
June 16, 2014


The Garden Project announced last week that the world’s famous “garden project” will be up and running across the nation after four years of preparation to introduce the program. The organization had begun the first program for patients with Alzheimer’s on April 18.

The project was intended to help people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease while supplying fresh chemicals-free produce to local communities and educating youths — who are exposed to high levels of fast food and sugary diet — the importance of eating healthy and local foods.

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June 24, 2014   Comments Off

Malaysian Ministry expects 20 percent of city folk to take up urban agriculture

The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

He said RM1 million had been allocated for the campaign, which included the distribution of seedlings and fertiliser and providing training, briefing and guidance

New Straits Times
May 8, 2014

PUTRAJAYA: The Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Ministry anticipates that about 20 per cent of people in cities nationwide will participate in urban agriculture.

Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said it would enable them to reduce their daily expenditure and increase their income should they be able harvest additional produce for sale.

“Land may be scarce in the cities but with the aid of modern technology, this can be achieved,” he told reporters after launching an urban agriculture campaign for the Federal Territory of Putrajaya here today.

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May 21, 2014   Comments Off

New Taipei promotes urban ‘community farms’

atipTaipei community garden.

New Taipei residents can beautify their living environment while promoting organic agriculture by growing their own crops, the city’s agriculture Department Commissioner Liao Jung-ching said.

By Liao Jen-kai, Johnson Sun and Elizabeth Hsu
Central News Agency

Taipei, May 7 (CNA) New Taipei, Taiwan’s most populous city, is promoting urban farming amid its dense collection of residential buildings in a bid to encourage citizens to transform idle spaces on rooftops and in public areas into vegetable gardens.

By establishing community farms, New Taipei residents can beautify their living environment while promoting organic agriculture by growing their own crops, the city’s agriculture Department Commissioner Liao Jung-ching said Wednesday while visiting a hillside community in the southern Xindian District.

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May 18, 2014   Comments Off

Nepals’ secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office inspects rooftop farming in Katmandu

Photo of Katmandu rooftops by Bee. See more here.

“The rooftop farming we saw left us quite inspired as we witnessed a mausami plant of nearly four inches bearing 12 fruits and a three inches lemon plant producing as many as 100 lemons at times.”


KATHMANDU, May 3: To promote the rooftop and terrace farming in Kathmandu city, some government secretaries and high-level officials from concerned government departments have inspected the rooftop farming at some places of the capital.

The inspection team led by secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office Krishna Hari Banskota reached the residences of Litterateur Pawan Alok and Rekha Kandel, a homemaker, where the officials were fascinated to see a wide variety of vegetables growing in clay vessels and plastic drums. They had planted chilies, tomatoes, flowers, guava, mango, pomegranate, oranges, green leaves and fruits and vegetables of many more varieties.

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May 10, 2014   Comments Off

Bangkok International School transforms concrete school rooftop into farm/rooftop garden


Our school administration has supported us in this sustainable project from the very start

By Philip Branston
Jamie Oliver
Apr 28, 2014


We have had many obstacles to overcome due to the intense Bangkok heat, but now that we understand the local climate and soil better we are starting to see some successes. One of the goals was to build raised garden beds. We did this after a major donation of over 100 wooden pallets from a NIST parent. Staff and students dismantled each of them one by one and made them into 2 metre by 1 metre beds. As time went by, we built more and more using reclaimed wood from the old NIST Multi-purpose Hall, which was demolished to make way for a new building.

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May 4, 2014   Comments Off

RUAF: Urban Agriculture as a Climate Change and Disaster Risk Reduction Strategy


RUAF Urban Agriculture Magazine No. 27, March 2014

RUAF-Foundation (International network of Resource centres on Urban Agriculture and Food security)
March 2014


This issue is prepared with support of the UN Habitat Cities and Climate Change Initiative. It reports on the joint urban agriculture programme implemented by RUAF and UN Habitat. This issue also shares findings of a CDKN funded innovation project on monitoring urban agriculture impacts on climate change.

Cities and climate change are virtually inseparable. Cities are major contributors to Green House Gas (GHG) emissions and thus climate change.

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April 18, 2014   Comments Off

Hong Kong’s fish farms in the sky

Lloyd Moskalik sells two tonnes of fish to wholesalers each week.

This is because as one of the most densely populated places in the world, there is simply very little spare space. So fish farms have to fit in where they can.

By Peter Shadbolt
BBC News
April 2, 2014


There are 11 plastic tanks in total, holding a combined 80,000 litres of salt water.

They are full of grouper, a white-fleshed fish, which are all destined to end up on the plates of restaurant-goers across Hong Kong.

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April 10, 2014   Comments Off