Singapore is one of the world’s centres for vertical farming due to the strong local ambition to become less dependent on imported produce, summarized in the 30by30 objective set out by the local government. Kalera is a trusted partner in this effort by building a community mega-farm together with Singapore Food Agency.
Launch of community farm and global R&D center in 2nd quarter 2022
Kalera will launch its first indoor farm in Singapore in the second quarter of 2022 to grow and deliver nutritious, great-tasting, and pesticide-free leafy greens to local consumers. The 15m high, multi-layer, vertical farm will make it possible to grow crops locally, in any climate condition, all year round.
Actively contributing to Singapore's 30x30 food security goal
Kalera has been awarded funding under SFA’s ‘30×30 express’ grant in October 2020 to ramp up local food production over the next six to 24 months. The grant is awarded to companies that make use of highly productive farming systems that can be constructed and implemented quickly to achieve high production levels.
The community mega farm project has been made possible by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) who launched the ‘30×30 Express’ grant in 2020. The grant will 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.
Locally grown, from Singapore for Singapore
Kalera will produce up to 500,000 kg of leafy greens annually, all cultivated in Singapore for local consumption eliminating long transport ways. This “production in the backyard” is made possible by Kalera’s dryponics method. Dryponics keeps the plants alive, with the roots intact, until they reach the consumer. Consumers will be able to harvest the plants only moments before consumption, resulting in higher nutritional value, better-tasting greens, and less food waste.
Producing more with less, sustainably
Using 95 percent less water, 60 percent less fertilizer, and zero pesticides, Kalera produces plants that are more nutrient-rich and better for the environment. Usually, green leaves lose most of their nutritional value after being washed in chlorine, chilled, packed, stored in warehouses, and then sent on the road for transportation – many times across thousands of kilometres.
Kalera’s advanced systems for tasty local greens allow for everything inside the farms to be controlled digitally- from seeding to harvesting, CO2 levels, temperature, and airflow. IoT sensors and edge computing units are collecting data throughout the farmhouses to produce and maintain the healthiest plants. This controlled environment leads to faster growth cycles and higher crop yield.
A global R&D center to foster collaboration
In addition to building a mega-farm, Kalera will also set up its global R&D center in Singapore to assure not only output objectives are reached but the latest findings in terms of crops and energy efficiency are quickly implemented at the mega farm.
One of the main areas to employ and refine sustainable practices in indoor farming is the use of the most efficient lighting technologies on the market. Therefore, Kalera teams up with Signify, a true innovator in horticultural lighting. Experiments will be carried out in Kalera’s large-scale farming environment to continuously minimize electricity consumption, while optimizing taste profile and yield.
Another research project in the field of energy-saving solutions is to optimize hybrid lighting solutions in controlled indoor environments with the ultimate goal to develop a system that makes the best use of natural sunlight in closed systems, while only adding artificial light based on the plants’ requirements. Kalera has signed an agreement with the agency for science, technology, and research (A*STAR) in Singapore on this.
By teaming up with local higher learning institutions and established industry players, the R&D center will harness the innovation potential for new climate control concepts and advanced LED technologies, most optimal seeds and substrate combinations as well as vision control and non-invasive crop monitoring solutions.