Ethos Paper – Vertical Farming
Due to high land prices and a lack of available farming land in Singapore, the city-state imports almost all of its food from neighbouring Malaysia and Indonesia. In a move for Singapore to become more self-sufficient, rooftop farms are being developed on top of government buildings, shopping malls and residential skyscrapers. Operated as a social enterprise ComCrop’s 6000 sq ft vertical rooftop farm in downtown Orchard Street was the first commercial rooftop farm in Singapore. Crops are planted in rows on pipes stacked on top of one another and water is drawn from tanks filled with living tilapia fishes, mimicking a freshwater lake eco-system where by-products from fishes are broken down and absorbed as nutrients by the plants. This vertical farming system pioneered by engineers at ComCrop allows them to grow eight to ten times the amount of crops compared to conventional flat land, soil-based farming.