A Small Glimpse of Urban Farming Technology in Singapore

Done by Jeremy Solomon, uni: js5636

  1. Between the population exponentially increasing and the effects of climate change that are becoming increasingly evident, the issue of food insecurity is one that must be considered. These issues are exacerbated in urban areas because of the large population density and the lack of land for farming. I believe these issues can touch all of the categories of sustainability that we were given to choose from: Energy, Water, Waste, Civic Engagement, Safety and Health. However, I would consider the core category(ies) to be safety and health, and possibly waste.

2.

  • The article briefly acknowleges that Singapore is a land scarce city as well as the effects of climate change as the main reasons that urban farming innovation is a necessity.
  • The first innovation that is happening in Singapore is from Insectta. which is an urban farm that focuses on breeding black soldier fries for the purpose of ultimately turning food waste into biomaterial for uses in various industries. One single kilo of fly larvae can consume four kg of waste in 24 hours. The biomaterial is then somehow extracted from the larvae (the article does not go into process details) and used to produce components for electronics, pharmaceuticals, and cosmetics.
  • Another technology that is discussed includes an Eco-Ark. This is a fish farm that is almost the size of two basketball courts that floats on the eastern side of Singapore. It uses treated seawater that is engineered to farm fish effectively and “safely”. It has solar panels on the roof that supply the farm with about 20% of its necessary electricity (not great…). There are also a number of additional safety measures taken, including producing their own oxygen, treating any water before it is deposited into the sea, and a “post-harvest” process that somehow improves the mortality of the farmed fish.
  • There has been about $45.2 million USD of Singaporean Government investment into farming technology, as well as $23 million Singapore dollars from the Sustainable Urban Food Production grant to pay for some R & D efforts.

Article Title: Singapore’s urban farmers seek high-tech solutions to turn waste into resources

Website Name: CNBC

Website Link: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/05/11/singapores-urban-farmers-seek-high-tech-solutions-to-turn-waste-into-resources.html

3. Stakeholders include:

  • City Residents
  • Trade Allies
  • Farmers

4. The first step in deploying a sustainable farming operation is to secure the necessary funding to complete the project. This can be from sources such as fedoral or local grants, but they can also come from private investment, or a public private partnership.

The second step would be sourcing personnel that is capable of building and maintaining such an operation. I.e. find some people smarter than you! You can’t do it all yourself!

Next, would be to secure a location to build. This would be very dependant on the amount of funding secured in step one! This would consist of searching, touring, negotiating, planning, etc.

Organic, non-GMO, fish sustainably sourced from your local fish tank

Sustainability issue

Fish populations are decreseing in alarming rates due to overfishing. Tuna populations are less than 3% of their orginal size (link), Salmon is an endangered species and the vast majority of popular fish and seafood that is sold in restaurants is on Greenpeace’s Red List (link). With a large percentage of humanity relying on fish as either a source of food or income – overfishing is a serious problem that effects urban and rural residents.

The solution

Fish Farming 2.0 – grow fish in “high tech” farms that provide a better environment for the fish, increases yield and generates co-benefits such as fertilizers and clean water.

The Technology

technology big

  • Aquamaof Aquaculture is an Israeli company that specializes in building and operating cutting edge land-based Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS).
  • The company’s proprietary system allows it to control all relevant parameters to optimize fish growth and safety, including water temperature, dissolved oxygen, chemicals (NH4-N, NO2-N, NO3-N, ALK, P, K), pH, Total Dissolved Solids and more.
  • The degree to which the company is able to control the fishs’ habitat allows it to provide the fish with toxic free, better-than-ocean, conditions that lead to naturally greater fish size (mass).
  • Prior to the disposal of used water, the company extracts and composts the fishs’ waste, which is later sold as fertilizer, and filters the water to a degree that it is cleaner than the condition in which it was received from the utility.

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Stakeholders

Any one that either eats fish or relies on fish for their wellbeing, primarily:

  • Consumers in developed countries that can buy the product.
  • Fishermen and fisherwomen in developing countries, who will benefit from healthier fish populations.
  • Ecotourism that will benefit from healthier ecosystems

Implementation

While every farm-fish consumed is one less fish caught in the wild, the fish-farm industry must grow tremendously in scale in order to be able to mover the needle on overfishing.

Step 1 – AquaMaof should continue to diversify its product line and increase the number of fish species it can grow

Step 2 – Significantly increase its marketing and sales operations as well as look for additional ways to lower its costs (e.g. using renewable energy such as solar in their facilities)

Step 3 – Partner with large costumers such as grocery stores and restaurants that require premium products and become one of their key suppliers.

Company website – link

 

Response to Sylwia Zieba:

This is a cool solution! one of the things that I find interesting is that PROTEON is also involved in setting up a research and development institute to promote this field and render the use of Bacteriphage based solutions more mainstream.