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                 SINGAPORE AGRI-FOOD BUSINESS DIRECTORY 2022/2023
 left to die. Therefore, there is a need globally for more farms to shift to agri-tech, where urban farms set within cities use a smaller land space, fewer workers, more technology, and intensive production to raise yield in a shorter time span.
An Agri Tech 4.0 farm applies big data, uses Internet of Things, and switches to highly disruptive and sustainable farming technologies. On the use of disruptive technology, selective genetic breeding was cited to produce high- quality seafood that are fast-growing and disease-free. To prove a point on raising fast- growing yield/crop, Prof Tan showed his own reared jumbo-sized tiger shrimp that uses genetic technology. The jumbo-sized tiger shrimp, the length of a person’s hand, took just over three months to reach this fully-grown size. Fifteen years ago, a shrimp of that size would have taken nine months to mature.
Another example in aquaculture is Apollo Aquaculture Group, a local innovator that is using technology to maximise its production with eight floors of vertical fish farms. Slated to be completed by 2023, its vertical farm plans to produce up to 2,700 tonnes of fish a year, using cutting-edge technology. A Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS) allows Apollo to control humidity and temperature, to monitor, purify and recirculate water within a tank system. The system can produce up to 150 kilograms of grouper per tonne of water, as compared to sea cage farming, which produces 25 to 75 kilograms. That’s two to sixfold of production.
Singapore-headquartered Barramundi Group uses world-class aquaculture technology and sustainable fish farming practices and has strategically invested in two innovative companies to help advance its farms in Australia, Singapore and Brunei. To ensure it has control over novel viruses and pathogens endemic in the farming environment, Barramundi Group
started its own animal health and vaccines company, UVAXX. The leading autogenous vaccine producer has produced seven proprietary vaccines for barramundi as well as for other fish species. Beyond UVAXX, Barramundi acquired a deep tech start-up, Allegro Aqua that focuses on developing quality barramundi through natural genetic selection. Through selective breeding over generations of fish, the company has managed to breed barramundi broodstock with fast growth, disease resilience and high yield characteristics. This will see an emergence of supply of genetically superior breed of barramundi in the market.
Local farms should turn to technology to increase food production. Agri Tech 4.0 plays a crucial role in helping Singapore improve its farming efficiency. In an interview with GovInsider, Melvin Chow, Senior Director, Food Infrastructure Development & Management Division at SFA, talked about the use of technology. Sensors can be used in produce fields to measure soil and weather conditions, and be deployed on farming equipment to measure the yield and standard of crops. Such data will give farmers a better idea of their produce quality. Camera-equipped satellites and drones can also help in these assessments. These technologies have become more accurate and affordable, capable of amazing detail when collecting images of fields from above. Drones can even help distribute bugs into fields as a form of natural pest control. Robots could soon be used to automate farming processes such as weeding, fertilising, seeding, and pruning plants.
The Singapore government has earmarked Lim Chu Kang region to be transformed into a high-tech agricultural land to produce three times as much food as it does now. The region will be equipped with improved electricity, water and transport infrastructure to support high-tech farming over the next three years.
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