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Futuristic farming for SG’s food security
With a mission of ‘growing a resilient future for people and planet’, Sustenir has been making headlines since the company was founded in 2014.
Tapping on hydroponics, a controlled environment agricultural system and the wonders of technology, this high-tech indoor farm produces over 90 tonnes of crops annually. The farm’s bounty includes myriad plants and vegetables that one would not expect to thrive in the tropics, from ice plant and lettuce to Curly and Tuscan kale.
Jaslin Koh — head of Sustenir’s nursery — shares how the smart farm grow their seasonal crops all year round.
Unlike traditional farms — which are exposed to uncertainties like erratic climate and rainfall — Sustenir is able to exert complete control over the environment in which their crops grow. Temperature, humidity, and even the exact amount of carbon dioxide can be monitored and tweaked to ensure optimal conditions for plant growth.
“We can control everything from nutrients to temperature during all stages,” Jaslin shares. “Controlling these elements allow us to grow the best produce possible.”
It takes a lot of experience to be able to create pristine conditions for a plant to thrive. To Jaslin, plants share a lot of characteristics with people due to their complexity.
“A lot of people think that you can make a plant grow faster by giving it more water, but plants can get ‘drunk’,” Jaslin shares. “Every crop has its own growing conditions, and as nurturers of plants, we’re constantly keeping track of the ideal environment for our crops to thrive in.”
Besides feeding Singapore, Sustenir is committed to growing its crops with sustainability in mind.
Known as Nutrient Film Technique, Sustenir’s farming system recirculates water for reuse, utilising 95% less water than a traditional farm. This indoor system also doesn’t require arable land, which can be employed for other earth-friendly measures like tree planting.
Tapping on technology has myriad benefits when it comes to agriculture. Besides allowing the farm to cultivate up to 3.2 tonnes of lettuce in a 54-square metre space, Sustenir is able to tweak the taste of its produce during early stages of growing.
As a result, the farm’s signature kale is crispier, zestier and sweeter than regular varieties.
Modern day farming is a fascinating profession. Learn more about Sustenir Agriculture with these fun factoids.
Sustenir’s crops are grown in such a pristine environment that you don’t even have to wash any of their produce before tucking in.
The farm’s lighting system is named after Helios, the ancient Greek sun god.
Sustenir employs an artificial intelligent system named S.A.R.A. (Sustenir Agriculture Realtime Assistant) to monitor variables like temperature and carbon dioxide levels.
Eat local and do your part to support our local farming community.
Sample Sustenir’s seasonal produce all year round by checking out Amazon Prime, RedMart or the supermarket aisles at Cold Storage and FairPrice Finest.
Keep an eye out for the SG Fresh Produce label to sample produce proudly grown and harvested on Singaporean soil.
The farms that provide us with fresh and top quality local produce.
Delve into the wondrous world of agritech in Singapore, and discover our nation’s growth in high-tech farming.