Germany vertical farming company &ever has revealed that its Singapore subsidiary will grow and deliver leafy greens to consumers through its first indoor farm in the region, after being awarded a grant by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA).
Amid the global food supply challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the SFA launched a ‘30x30 Express’ grant earlier this year to support the country’s agri-food industry and accelerate the ramp-up of local production, with the aim of meeting 30 per cent of Singapore’s nutritional needs with food produced locally by 2030.
Through this, &ever has been awarded funding to help increase local food production over the next six to 24 months.
The grant is awarded to companies who make use of highly productive farming systems that can be constructed and implemented quickly to achieve high production levels.
&ever will produce annually up to 500,000kg of leafy greens for consumers in Singapore using its Dryponics method, which keeps the plants alive, with the roots intact, until they reach the consumer.
Consumers will be able to harvest the plants only seconds before consumption, resulting in higher nutritional value and better tasting greens, &ever pointed out.
"Using 90 per cent less water, 60 per cent less fertiliser and zero pesticides, &ever produces plants that are more nutrient-rich and better for the environment," the company said.
The company's fully automated technology allows for everything inside the farms to be controlled digitally - from the seeding to harvesting, CO2 levels, temperature and airflow.
IoT sensors and edge computing are collecting data throughout the farmhouses to produce and maintain the healthiest plants, leading to faster growth cycles and higher crop yield.
“To accelerate the ramp up in local food production and meet our “30 by 30” goal, we will need to leverage productive farming technology," said Melvin Chow, senior director of SFA’s Food Supply Resilience division. "Technology can help farms achieve higher production levels, and be more resilient against the impacts of climate change.
"We are pleased to see our agri-food players, such as &ever Singapore adopting productive and innovative farming systems, and will continue to work with them to strengthen our food production capabilities," Chow explained. "This in turn will enhance Singapore’s food security, and create good jobs for our people.”
“We are excited to continue our global roll-out and bring better tasting, highly nutritious salad to the people of Singapore," said Dr Henner Schwarz, chief executive of &ever.