Published by City Farmer, Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture


Urban Agriculture Agrotechnology Park Study Tour

(Singapore Tropical Hydroponic Study Tour 2000)

This is a study tour being organised by "Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses" magazine and Geoff and Mary Wilson of Fawm Pty Ltd, with help from:

From Sunday, August 27, to Sunday, September 3, 2000.

Tentative Itinerary (Still subject to confirmation of some visits).

Sunday, August 27:

Tour party assembles in Singapore at York Hotel.

Evening briefing after dinner (from 5pm to 6pm) on the tour itinerary, and on the concept of the Agrotechnology Parks being developed on 1500 hectares of Singapore, and in sea cages on the coast. Singapore's tropical agrotechnology is urban agriculture at its most productive, and with great environmental sensitivity. Parcels of land of two to 30 hectares are leased for 20 years by the Singapore Government, to farming companies to produce hydroponic vegetables, orchids and ornamental plants, aquatic plants, freshwater and sea fish, eggs, milk and crocodiles. Singapore's agrotechnology parks represent an important insight into part of the future for hydroponics in urban and city-fringe, intensive farming.

Overnight at York Hotel.

Monday, August 28:

9.00 am to 10.30 am: Visit to ACT Bean Sprout Farm at the Lim Chu Kang Agrotechnology Park. This farm is on one hectare, produced 1.7 tonnes a day of fresh bean sprouts under hygienic and computer-controlled conditions, without the use of pesticides.

11 am to Visit Aero-Green tropical aeroponic hydroponic farm in the Lim Chu Kang Agrotechnology Park. Aero-Green in a S$12 million investment on 5.2 hectares, using aeroponics specially adapted to the tropics. The farm currently grows about 500 kg of pesticide-free vegetables a day, and has semi-automation in lettuce harvesting from polystyrene trays.

12.15 to 1.00 pm: Lunch at Aero-Green.

1.30pm to 2.30 pm: Visit to the Oriental Aquarium aquatic plant farm in Lim Chu Kang Agrotechnology Park. This is an 11-hectare farm producing 300 varieties of aquatic plants from tissue culture laboratories. It has captured 10% of the world export market for aquatic tropical plants..

3 pm to 4pm: Visit to the Orchidville tropical hydroponic farm at Mandai Agrotechnology Park. Organic hydroponics is one of the big features of this 43 hectare farm under shadecloth. It ferments soy flour and molasses with micro-organisms to create its organic hydroponic nutrient.

Return to hotel at 4.20 pm. Overnight at York Hotel.

Tuesday, August 29:

9.00 am to 10.30 am: Visit to Oh Chin Huat Hydroponic Farm at the Nee Soon Agrotechnology Park. Serried ranks of totally-enclosed, 215 individual greenhouses on 2.4 hectares allow adequate cooling and air flow for a daily output of about 1,000 kg of fresh, pesticide-free vegetables.

11 am to 12.30 pm: Visit to Watercircle aquaponics (hydroponics and aquaculture) close to Sembawang. This experimental operation uses oval-pipe hydroponics and tanks containing nutrient in which fish are grown.

12,.30 pm to 1.00pm: Lunch.

1.30 pm to 2.30 pm: Visit to Toh Orchids tropical hydroponics at Sungai Agrotechnology Park. Three hectares of orchids grows 30 varieties of high-quality tropical orchids. It features a robotic spray shuttle for moisture and nutrient sprays.

3.00 pm to 4.00 pm: Visit the Quin Hu Fish Farm at the Sungai Tengah Agrotechnology Park. This S$4 million investment in ornamental fish is factory-style aquaculture at its best. Turnover is about S$10 million.

Return to hotel by 4. 20pm. Overnight at York Hotel.

Wednesday, August 30:

9am start. Half-day seminar in hotel, on the Singapore market's potential for hydroponic produce from Pacific-rim countries, especially from producers of temperate climate vegetables and fruits. Air freight services, local agents, market requirements and regulations.

12.30 pm Lunch.

1.30 pm to 3.30 pm: Two hours of lectures and questions and answers in hotel on tropical hydroponics, and its potential in dedicated agrotechnology parks of cities, and on rooftops or the vertical faces of buildings -- with Professor Lee Sing Kong of Nanyang Technological University (a world authority on aeroponics) and Mr Gregory Chow of Ngee Ann Polytechnic, who is Secretary of the Singapore Society for Soilless Culture.

Finish time 3.45 pm. Overnight at York Hotel.

Thursday, August 31:

9.30 am to 10.30 am: Visit to hydroponic rooftop farming project at Tanjong Pagar using equipment supplied by Oh Farms. A group of apartment dwellers use the Oh Farms' technology to produce their own vegetables.

10.45 am to 12 noon: Visit to Jalan Kaya Nursery of Island Landscapes Pte Ltd. To see Hydroculture plant growing for ornamental use on Singapore's rooftop and indoor gardens.

12.15 pm to 1.30 pm. Lunch.

1.45 pm to 2.45 pm: Visit to retail display outlet for Island Landscapes Pte Ltd. .

3.00 pm to 4pm: Visit to rooftop/indoor hydroponic gardening and farming project.

Return to hotel by 4.20 pm. Overnight at York Hotel.

Friday, September 1:

9.00am to 12 noon: Visit the Mini Aquaponics Farm (hydroponics and aquaculture) at Pulau Ubin holiday resort. It is a part of the outdoor nature activity for resort visitors, and is the first commercial development of the Watercircle research.

12.15 pm to 1.30 pm: Lunch

1.45 pm to 2.45 pm: Visit the rooftop hydroponic "farm" at Changi Hospital.

3.00 pm to 4.00pm Visit to Long Kuan Hung Crocodile Farm in Lim Chu Kang Agrotechnology Park. It will have 20,000 crocodiles when fully developed, and facilities are for breeding, hatching, growing and slaughtering.

Return to hotel by 4.20 pm. Overnight at York Hotel.

Saturday, September 2:

9am start. Full day at Ngee Ann Polytechnic for a Technical Conference on Tropical Hydroponics hosted by the 200 members of the Singapore Society for Soilless Culture. Keynote speaker will be Professor Akira Nukaya of Shizuoka University, who is Secretary of the Japanese Society for Soilless Culture. The conference will be held at the Singapore Zoo, and will be part of Singapore's Technology Month Celebrations for September 2000.

6.30 pm to 10.00 pm: Tour Party Dinner and "Safari by Night" at the Zoo.

Return to hotel by 10.20 pm. Overnight at York Hotel.

Sunday, September 3.

Depart for home, or begin own sightseeing. Information on tourist attractions in Singapore and neighbouring countries can be supplied on request.

About the organisers:
Geoff and Mary Wilson have run seven agribusiness study tours -- around Australia (2) to New Zealand (3) and to California (2). Geoff writes for "Practical Hydroponics" and Greenhouses" magazine and for aquaculture magazines. Until November 1998, Mary owned and ran a highly successful printing company.

About the tour leaders:
Roger Fox and Geoff Wilson will be the official tour leaders. Roger is Editor of "Practical Hydroponics & Greenhouses" magazine, which has a world-wide circulation of about 12,000 subsribers. Geoff is a freelance journalist in agribusiness, food, forestry, aquaculture and urban agriculture, operating in Australia and Asia -- living for a while in Singapore. Geoff and Mary have organised seven technical study tours -- in Australia (2), to New Zealand (3) and to California (2). They are frequent travellers to Asia, having lived in Singapore while working on food and forestry magazines published there.

About our travel agent:
Shu Fen Hillier of Golden Palm Travel service (Australia) Pty Ltd., is our travel agent. Her registration number is TAG 1581.

About our helpers:
Three people have been helping Geoff and mary set up the Singapore Tropical Hydroponics study Tour. They are:
who also is a Lecturer at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic in Singapore. About the airline:

Singapore Airlines is one of the world leaders in air travel. It is also a major player in air freight serves, especially fresh vegetables and fresh flowers for world markets.

Singapore is a transit point for fresh produce for the rest of Asia. About the hotel:

The York Hotel has been a favourite of Geoff and Mary Wilson since the 1970s. It offers excellent rooms and facilities in a central location -- close to the most exciting shopping strips and exotic restaurants of Singapore. It has some of the best value accommodation for travellers.

About the itinerary:
This study tour itinerary provides insights into tropical hydroponics not generally available. It has 15 visits to commercial or research projects, a trade seminar to provide invaluable information about trading with Singapore, a special session with Singapore's leading academics on tropical hydroponic technology, plus a technical conference on tropical hydroponics.

About post tour leisure:
Singapore is one of the most exciting cities in the world when it comes to providing interesting leisure. The hectic study tour can be followed by a relaxing holiday or shopping visit that can take in both the attractions of Singapore, and those in neighbouring countries.

Geoff and Mary Wilson,
Fawm Pty Ltd.
359 Broadwater Rd.,
Queensand 4122.
Phone: 61 7 3349 1422
Fax: 61 7 3343 8287
Mobiles: Mary: 0412 422 779
Geoff: 0412 622 779

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Revised Friday, February 11, 2000

Published by City Farmer
Canada's Office of Urban Agriculture