Singapore at the Forefront of Food Production
Singapore has helped lead the way in a burgeoning global functional food market, by introducing new models for food production in recent months. Two recent proposals involving firms based in Singapore or partnerships with the government outline ambitious projects that could radically transform the nature of how food is produced in dense urban areas.
The Oceanus Aquapolis City is a project initiated by the Oceanus Group Ltd. to build a floating “future food city” off the coast of Singapore, which would include mixed crop cultivation, as well as facilities for harvesting fish and seaweed. The city would integrate renewable energy into its operations, with the goal of achieving a sustainable source of food for Singapore’s highly dense urbanized population. Duane Ho, Oceanus’s CEO, said that the firm has initiated feasibility studies for the project, further noting city state imports more than 90% of its food, due to scarcity in arable land, and would need to ramp up production by 70% in order to have a self-sufficient food supply. Due to environmental pressures and uncertainty caused by climate change, global aquaculture production is expected to rise sharply over the next decade, with projections stating that it will exceed 100 million tons by 2025.
Another prominent proposal from Sinagpore’s Vertivegies, and backed by Sanan Sino-Sciences Photobiotech (SanaBio), calls for the construction of a 20,000 sq. meter indoor vertical plant facility, that would grow and house a wide range of foods, including vegetables, microgreens, herbs, and fruit. The dearth of fresh produce in Singapore inspired the project, which is expected to be ready in May, 2019. The facility would deploy advanced technology to reduce waste and chemical additives, utilizing hydroponics and rooms equipped UV light to maximize health and cleanliness. The Vertigegies proposal was bolstered by a recent Singapore law that outlined standards for certifying organic produce, a novel regulation for an urban city-state.