October 30, 2012

First vertical farm opens in Singapore

Wired - The first commercial-scale vertical farm has opened in the tiny, densely populated city of Singapore, with the aim of decreasing dependence on food imports.

Singapore, which lies at the end of the Malay Peninsula, is just 274 square miles, almost all of which is city. That leaves little space to grow vegetables. As a result, the city currently only produces 7 percent of its vegetables locally, forcing it to buy from other countries.

The vertical farm, which has been developed by Sky Green Farms, consists of 120 aluminum towers, each extending up almost 30 feet in height. It can produce over 1,000 pounds of three kinds of vegetables per day, all of which are sold in the local Fair Price Finest supermarkets. However, they do cost a little more than imported vegetables.

That hasn’t stopped them becoming enormously popular with local consumers, and they’re frequently out of stock. As a result, the company is looking for investors to allow it to produce two tons of vegetables per day. As supply ramps up, economies of scale should also be able to cut the price.

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