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AVA, Sumitomo Chemical to start full-scale rooftop farming test cultivation

THE Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) and Sumitomo Chemical will begin full-scale test cultivation of farm produce on the rooftop of AVA's research facility this month, with the aim of establishing sustainable urban farming by 2018.

The project, which aims to promote urban farming to enhance food supply resilience in land scarce Singapore, sees the AVA and Sumitomo Chemical using rooftops of buildings for urban farming, based on Japan's proprietary technology. Other participants of the project include Kaneko Seeds from Japan, and Ngee Ann Polytechnic.

Sumitomo Chemical will look into further specifics for the project, including a produce distribution system to be established. It will also set up an operational model for sustainable urban farming by around 2018, which it can use to expand the urban farming business in Asia and globally.

Commenting on the project, Damian Chan, executive director of Energy & Chemicals, Singapore Economic Development Board, said: "Agriculture chemicals is a speciality chemicals end-market that Singapore identified to have good growth potential, and where our innovation capacity and strong inter-agency collaboration could provide the foundation for companies to test-bed new innovative solutions before scaling them to the region."

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Mr Chan added that Sumitomo Chemical's foray into urban farming demonstrates how Singapore can innovate to develop unique solutions to solve global problems such as food security.