CATALIST-LISTED GKE Corp has been granted a farm licence for its wholly-owned subsidiary GKE Agritech to grow and sell agricultural produce commercially in Singapore.
In a press statement on Tuesday, the integrated warehousing and logistics solutions provider said it received approval from the Singapore Food Agency for its farm licence application on March 27.
Formerly known as AGT Solutions, GKE Agritech was renamed after its acquisition by the group in January this year. Its initial focus was to grow kale as its key product for local consumption.
According to GKE, the indoor cultivation of kale will provide consistency in the quality and quantity of pesticide-free vegetables, and thus allow consumers access to "top-quality produce that is safe, nutritious and promotes an active and healthy lifestyle".
Since the acquisition and renaming of the subsidiary, the group's unutilised office premise at 6 Pioneer Walk has been converted into a 2,400 square foot (sq ft) indoor farm for the purpose of cultivating kale. GKE Agritech uses a controlled-environment agriculture approach to deploy automation and sensors, with the goal of protecting and maintaining optimal growing conditions throughout the development of the indoor farm's crops.
With its recently granted farm licence, GKE intends to gradually expand this indoor cultivation area to 12,500 sq ft, the group said in its statement.
"We are delighted to update shareholders that we have successfully grown and harvested pesticide-free kale at our premises. The kale is cultivated indoors vertically via a racking system, which allows us to enjoy higher utilisation of the office space," said GKE chief executive Neo Cheow Hui.
"With the receipt of the farm licence to commence commercial sale of our freshly-harvested kale in supermarkets, we are looking to increase the cultivation area gradually to 12,500 sq ft," he added.
Shares of GKE were trading 0.3 Singapore cent or 2.3 per cent higher at 13.4 cents as at 3.24pm on Tuesday, after the announcement.