Singapore Grows More with Less on 'Sky Farms'
Big changes in agriculture are taking place in Singapore. Some people say the small, Southeast Asian nation is leading a farming revolution.
Singapore aims to increase its own food production by growing vegetables on top of office buildings. It also has set up tiered fish farms and is using laboratories to grow shrimp, a popular treat. That way, the island nation will not have to depend as much on imports to feed its 5.6 million people.
Singapore produces about 10% of its food. But as climate change and population growth threaten food supplies, it wants to raise that to 30% by the year 2030, under a plan known as ‘30-by-30'.
The problem is space.
Singapore is a small country, with only 724 square kilometers of land. Only one percent of that land area is used for agriculture. Food production costs are higher there than the rest of Southeast Asia. The pressure is on new farmers to answer the government's call to "grow more with less."
"Whenever I talk about food security in Singapore, I tell folks don't think land - think space. Because you can go upwards and sideways," said Paul Teng. He is an agriculture professor at Nanyang Technological University. He spoke with the Reuters news agency.
There are more than 30 vertical farms in Singapore — ones that grow up, not across, the land. The number of so-called "sky farms" has doubled over the past three years.
Sustenir Agriculture is one of these businesses. Its hydroponic farm grows non-native foods like kale, cherry tomatoes and strawberries inside buildings under artificial lighting. Then it sells the produce to local supermarkets and online stores.
Sustenir raised $16 million from investors last year. The money will be used to expand operations in Singapore and open in Hong Kong.
Some of that money came from Singapore state investor Temasek. It is also providing financing to Apollo Aquaculture Group, which is building a highly-automated, eight-story fish farm. The project is expected to cost about $50 million.
Apollo produces 110 tons of fish each year. It says the new fish farm will mean it can provide 20 times that amount.
"It is too unpredictable to do things now in the traditional way," said Apollo chief Eric Ng. In recent years, there have been problems with algae blooms killing off farmers' fish.
Singapore's government plans to build an 18-hectare agriculture area for indoor plant factories and insect farms by the middle of 2021. Some people get protein by eating insects.
The plan was first announced in March. Government officials have yet to say how much the ‘30-by-30' plan will cost.
Not everyone thinks the new technology is best.
Egg farmer William Ho says the government should not depend so much on agriculture technology businesses.
"Many of them have failed. That's why I'm always asking the government why don't you invest in us old-timers. We are more practical," he said.
Professor Paul Teng said an issue for urban farmers is that the high cost of the technology makes their products too pricey for many people.
One new business is Shiok Meats. It aims to be the world's first to sell shrimp grown from cells in a laboratory.
The process involves cells grown in a nutrient solution in tanks. After four to six weeks, the fluid is removed, leaving small pieces of shrimp. The company says the process is harmless to animals.
Shiok Meats plans to sell its product in one or two top restaurants by late 2020. By 2030, it hopes to produce enough shrimp meat to feed Singapore.
I'm Jill Robbins.
1.taking place 发生
History is taking place before your very eyes.
2.depend on 依赖
Needy and handicapped people depend on government relief for their support.
3.set up 建立
I set up a ginger group on the environment.
4.grow up 生长；成长
All plants like to grow up towards the sunlight.
5."It is too unpredictable to do things now in the traditional way," said Apollo chief Eric Ng.
It is unpredictable to ...难以预测
It is unpredictable yet it happens to all of us.
Because it is unpredictable, all we can do is to open our hearts and accept.
6.In recent years, there have been problems with algae blooms killing off farmers' fish.
In recent years 近年来
Attitudes to mental illness have shifted in recent years.
He has made a string of outspoken and sometimes provocative speeches in recent years.
新加坡的农业正在发生巨大变革 。有人指出，这个东南亚国家正在领导一场农业革命 。
新加坡的目标是通过在办公楼顶部种植蔬菜来增加本国粮食产量 。该国还建立了分层养鱼场，利用实验室养殖虾——一种受欢迎的水产品 。这样一来，这个岛国就不必过度依赖进口来养活560万人口 。
新加坡的粮食产量约占其总产量的10% 。但由于气候变化和人口增长威胁到粮食供应，该国希望通过“30×30”计划到2030年将这一比例提高到30% 。
新加坡是一个小国家，国土面积只有724平方公里 。只有1%的土地用于农业种植 。当地食品生产成本高于东南亚其他地区 。新一代农民面临的压力是响应政府“用更低的成本生产更多的粮食”的号召 。
Paul Teng称：“每当谈到新加坡的粮食安全问题时，我告诉人们要抛开土地，开发空间 。因为你可以向上开发和向侧面延伸 。他是南洋理工大学的农业教授 。他接受了路透社的采访 。
新加坡有30多处垂直农场，这类农场会扩大，但不会增加占地面积 。在过去的三年里，所谓的“天空农场”的数量翻了一番 。
Sustenir农业是其中一家垂直农场 。它的水培农场在人工照明的建筑物内种植羽衣甘蓝、圣女果和草莓等非本地食物 。然后再将农产品销售给当地超市和网店 。
去年，该农场获得了1600万美元的投资资金 。这笔资金将用于扩大在新加坡的业务，并在香港开业 。
其中一些资金来自新加坡政府所有的淡马锡投资公司 。该公司还向“阿波罗水产养殖集团”提供资金，后者正在建设一座高度自动化的八层养鱼场 。该项目预计耗资约5000万美元 。
阿波罗水产养殖集团每年产鱼110吨 。该养殖集团表示，新的养鱼场意味着它能够提供20倍的产量 。
该集团首席执行官Eric Ng表示：“如今用传统额方式经营太难以预测了 。”近年来，因水藻爆发导致鱼类死亡的问题层出不穷 。
新加坡政府计划在2021年年中打造一处18公顷的农业园区，用于室内植物工厂和昆虫农场 。有些人通过吃昆虫摄取蛋白质 。
该计划于今年3月首次公布 。政府官员尚未透露“30×30”计划的成本 。
“他们中有许多人都失败了 。这就是为什么我总是纳闷，为何政府不投资我们这些传统农户 。我们更加务实，”他说 。
Paul Teng教授指出，城市农民面临的问题是，这项技术的高成本导致他们的产品对许多消费者来说太过昂贵 。
Shiok meat也是新兴企业之一 。该公司的目标是成为全球首家销售实验室养殖虾的公司 。
这个过程包括细胞在培养液中养殖 。四到六周后，去除掉液体，只留下块状虾肉 。该公司表示，该过程对动物无害 。
Shiok meat计划于2020年底在一、两家顶级餐厅售卖其产品 。到2030年，该公司希望生产足够的虾肉来养活新加坡民众 。