Netatech’s rice experiment a step to meet food security challenges in Singapore

In an initiative to contribute to the food security of the country, Singapore's Netatech firm has started experimenting with growing rice in its high-tech urban farm, a step said to be a part of a vertical food stage project. 

Technology plays a crucial role in experimentation.
Technology plays a crucial role in experimentation. Photo courtesy: Singapore Food Agency

The vertical food stage experiment has three storeys. 

The first storey has the control centre, the second has the vegetables plantation and the third has rice plantations with three varieties – Japonica rice, Indica rice and Tameskek rice. 

"Rice is a staple food for all Singaporeans. The reason why we went to grow rice in this country is to find whether we can solve some of our food security challenges, " said David Tan, group CEO and Founder, Netatech. 

Technology plays a crucial role in experimentation. The harvested rainwater from the rooftop of the control centre goes through four nutrient injectors from where the plants are being provided with sufficient nutrition. The harvesting is being done in three cycles in a year. 

"To achieve the highest yield, we hope that by 2030 we are able to produce a greater part of rice consumption in Singapore, " Tan added.