Due to a lack of land space, Singapore imports almost all of their fresh produce with only about 7% of vegetables consumed in the country locally grown. From a quality and sustainability point of view, transporting vegetables halfway across the world isn’t optimal, but with the population increasing in the world’s major cities, many other nations like Singapore may have no other option.
Identifying this challenge, Singaporean based company Sky Greens have come up with an ideal solution to ensure more food supply resilience. The Sky Urban Vertical Farming System is the world’s first low carbon, water-driven plot that grows vegetables using safe and sustainable production methods.
Housed in protected outdoor greenhouses, each tower – almost nine meters tall – contains 38 shelves with tropical vegetables. The shelves rotate though out the day allowing each shelf to receive sunlight while at the top and water while at the bottom. The rotating procedure is powered using a hydraulic system which requires only 0.5 litres of water per day to run the 1.7 ton structure. The water is also reused on the vegetables once the cycle has been completed. With the benefit of being housed in a controlled environment, vegetables can be grown all year round, and compared to traditional monolayer farms, the vertical farming system produces at least 10 times more per land area unit.
Vertical farming has been a difficult task to master, but Sky Greens has shown that it’s possible through innovative design that urban farming can compete with, and produce better results than traditional farming.