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UTURE ARMING


FUTURE FARMING


CONTENT

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Preface - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 6 Introduction to Agriculture:

• What is Agriculture? - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 9 • Livestock production - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 10 • Crop production - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 12

Sustainable Agriculture:

• Farming and Natural resources - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 16 • Plant Production Practices - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 18 • Animal Production Practices - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 22 •E  conomic, Social and Political Viability - - - - - - 26 • Statistics - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 28

Sustainable Agriculture in Singapore:

• Gardenesia - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 36 • Fireflies Farm - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 40 • Mr Lee‘s Farm - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 42 • Hay Dairies - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 44

Bibliography - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 48


Preface Future Farming educate readers on the importance of sustaining agriculture and the methods that can help to sustain agriculture. It compiles the stories of farmers living in the local countryside where they shared their experiences and thoughts through an interview about what agriculture is all about and what they think of future agriculture.

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What is Agriculture The simplification of nature’s food webs and the rechanneling of energy for human planting and animal consumption

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griculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture is the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the development of civilization. Agriculture is also observed in certain species of ant and termite, but generally speaking refers to human activities. Farmers produce, process, market and use food, fibers, and their byproducts by raising plant crops and animals. This is where we get our foods, meats and dairy products.

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Livestock Production Animals, including horses, mules, oxen, camels, llamas, alpacas and dogs, are often used to help cultivate fields, harvest crops, wrangle other animals, and transport farm products to buyers. Animal husbandry not only refers to the breeding and raising of animals for meat or to harvest animal products such as milk, eggs and wool on a continual basis, but also to the breeding and care of species for work and companionship. Livestock production systems can be defined based on feed source, as grassland-based, mixed and landless. Grassland based livestock production relies upon plant material such as shrub

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land, rangeland, and pastures for feeding ruminant animals. Outside nutrient inputs may be used, however manure is returned directly to the grassland as a major nutrient source. This system is particularly important in areas where crop production is not feasible because of climate or soil, representing 30-40 million pastoralists. Mixed production systems use grassland, fodder crops and grain feed crops as feed for ruminant and monogastic which is one stomach, mainly chickens and pigs livestock. Manure is typically recycled in mixed systems as a fertilizer for crops. Approximately 68% of all agricultural land is permanent pastures used in the production of livestock.


Landless systems rely upon feed from outside the farm, representing the delinking of crop and livestock production found more prevalently in Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) member countries. In the U.S., 70% of the grain grown is fed to animals on feedlots. Synthetic fertilizers are more heavily relied upon for crop production and manure utilization becomes a challenge as well as a source for pollution.

“

Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field.

�

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Crop Production

Cropping systems vary among farms depending on the available resources and constraints, geography and climate of the farm, government policy, economic, social, political pressures, the philosophy and the culture of the farmer. Shifting cultivation or slash and burn is a system in which forests are burnt, releasing nutrients to support cultivation of annual and then perennial crops for a period of several years.

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The plot is then left fallow to re-grow forest and the farmer moves to a new plot, returning after about 10-20 years later. This fallow period is shortened if population density grows, requiring the input of nutrients such as fertilizer or manure and some manual pest control. Annual cultivation is the next phase of intensity in which there is no fallow period. This requires even greater nutrient and pest control inputs. Furthermore, industrialization leads to the use of monocultures, when one cultivar is planted on a large acreage. The low biodiversity, nutrient use is uniform and pests tend to build up, necessitating the greater use of pesticides and fertilizers. Multiple cropping, in which several crops are grown sequentially in one year, and intercropping, when several crops are grown at the same time are other kinds of annual cropping systems known as poly cultures.

chemicals like fertilizers and pesticides, mechanization, and plant breeding hybrids and Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO). In the past few decades, a move towards sustainability in agriculture has also developed, integrating ideas of socio-economic justice and conservation of resources and the environment within a farming system. This has led to the development of many responses to the conventional agriculture approach, including organic agriculture, urban agriculture, community supported agriculture, ecological or biological agriculture, integrated farming and holistic management, as well as an increased trend towards agricultural diversification.

What is Agriculture

In tropical environments, all of these cropping systems are practiced. In subtropical and arid environments, the timing and extent of agriculture may be limited by rainfall, either not allowing multiple annual crops in a year, or requiring irrigation. In all of these environments perennial crops such as coffee and chocolate are grown and systems are practiced such as agro forestry. In temperate environments, where ecosystems were predominantly grassland or prairie, highly productive annual cropping is the dominant farming system. The last century has seen the intensification, concentration and specialization of agriculture, relying upon new technologies of agricultural

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SUSTAIN ABLE AGRI CULTURE 14


Sustainable agriculture is the practice of farming using principles of ecology, the study of relationships between organisms and their environment. Sustainable agriculture integrates three main goals-environmental health, economic profitability and social and economic equity. A variety of philosophies, policies and practices have contributed to these goals. People in many different capacities, from farmers to consumers, have shared this vision and contributed to it. Despite the diversity of people and perspectives, the following themes commonly weave through definitions of sustainable agriculture. Sustainability rests on the principle that we must meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Therefore, stewardship of both natural and human resources is of prime importance. Stewardship of human

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SUST resources includes consideration of social responsibilities such as working and living conditions of labourers, the needs of rural communities, and consumer health and safety both in the present and the future. Stewardship of land and natural resources involves maintaining or enhancing this vital resource base for the long term.

CULTU


Farming and Natural Resources

ABLE AGRI Water

When the production of food and fibre degrades the natural resource base, the ability of future generations to produce and flourish decreases. In some areas, sufficient rainfall is available for crop growth but many other areas require irrigation. For irrigation systems to be sustainable they require proper management as to avoid salinization and must not use more water from their source than is naturally replenished, otherwise the water source becomes, in effect, a non-renewable resource. Improvements in water well drilling technology and submersible pumps combined with the development of drip irrigation and low pressure pivots have made it possible to regularly achieve high crop yields where reliance on rainfall alone previously made this level of success unpredictable. However, this progress has come at a price, in that in many areas where this has occurred, such as the Ogallala Aquifer, the water is being used at a greater rate than its rate of recharge.

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There are several steps that should be taken to develop drought-resistant farming systems even in “normal” years, including both policy and management actions: • Improving water conservation and storage measures, •P  roviding incentives for selection of drought-tolerant crop species, •U  sing reduced-volume irrigation systems, • Managing crops to reduce water loss, • Not planting at all.


Sustainable Agriculture

Soil

Soil erosion is fast becoming one of the world’s greatest problems. It is estimated that “more than a thousand million tonnes of southern Africa’s soil are eroded every year. Experts predict that crop yields will be halved within thirty to fifty years if erosion continues at present rates” Soil erosion is not unique to Africa but is occurring worldwide. The phenomenon is being called Peak Soil as present large scale factory farming techniques are jeopardizing

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humanity’s ability to grow food in the present and in the future. Without efforts to improve soil management practices, the availability of arable soil will become increasingly problematic. Some Soil Management techniques: • No-till farming • Keyline design •G  rowing wind breaks to hold the soil • Incorporating organic matter back into fields •S  top using chemical fertilizers which contain salt •P  rotecting soil from water runoff

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lant roduction ractices Sustainable production practices involve a variety of approaches. Specific strategies must take into account topography, soil characteristics, climate, pests, local availability of inputs and the individual grower’s goals. Despite the site-specific and individual nature of sustainable agriculture, several general principles can be applied to help growers to select appropriate management practices: •S  election of species and varieties that are well suited to the conditions of the farm; •D  iversification of crops and cultural practices to enhance the biological and economic stability of the farm; •M  anagement of the soil to enhance and protect soil quality; •E  fficient and humane use of inputs; and •C  onsideration of farmers’ goals and lifestyle choices.

Selection of site, species and variety

Adopted early preventive strategies can reduce inputs and help establish

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a sustainable production system. When possible, pest-resistant crops should be selected which are tolerant of existing soil or site conditions. When site selection is an option, factors such as soil type and depth, previous crop history and location should be taken into account before planting.

Diversity

Diversified farms are usually more economically and ecologically resilient. While monoculture farming has advantages in terms of efficiency and ease of management, the loss of the crop in any one year could put a farm out of business and disrupt the stability of a community dependent on that crop. By growing a variety of crops, farmers spread economic risk and are less susceptible to the radical price fluctuations associated with changes in supply and demand. Properly managed, diversity can also buffer a farm in a biological sense. Also, cover crops can have stabilizing effects on the agroecosystem by holding soil and nutrients in place, conserving soil moisture with mowed or standing dead mulches, and by increasing the water infiltration rate and soil water holding capacity. Using a variety of cover crops is


Sustainable Agriculture

also important in order to protect against the failure of a particular species to grow and to attract and sustain a wide range of beneficial arthropods. Optimum diversity may be obtained by integrating both crops and livestock in the same farming operation. This was the common practice for centuries until the mid-1900s when technology, government policy and economics compelled farms to become more specialized. Mixed crop and livestock operations have several advantages. First, growing row crops only on more level land and pasture or forages on steeper slopes will reduce soil erosion. Second, pasture and forage crops in rotation enhance soil quality and reduce erosion, livestock manure, in turn, contributes

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to soil fertility. Third, livestock can buffer the negative impacts of low rainfall periods by consuming crop residue that in “plant only� systems would have been considered crop failures. Finally, feeding and marketing are flexible in animal production systems. This can help cushion farmers against trade and price fluctuations and make more efficient use of farm labour.

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Soil management

A common philosophy among sustainable agriculture practitioners is that a “healthy� soil is a key component of sustainability. While many crops have key pests that attack even the healthiest of plants, proper soil, water and nutrient management can help prevent some pest problems brought on by crop stress or nutrient imbalance. Furthermore, crop management systems that impair soil quality often result in greater inputs of water, nutrients, pesticides and energy for tillage to maintain yields. In sustainable systems, the soil is viewed as a fragile and living medium that must be protected and nurtured to ensure its long-term productivity and stability. Methods to protect and enhance the productivity of the soil include using cover crops, compost manures, reducing tillage, avoiding traffic on wet soils, and maintaining soil cover with plants. Regular additions of organic matter or the use of cover crops can increase soil aggregate stability, soil tilt and diversity of soil microbial life.

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Sustainable Agriculture

Efficient use of inputs

Many inputs and practices used by conventional farmers are also used in sustainable agriculture. Sustainable farmers, however, maximize reliance on natural, renewable, and on-farm inputs. Equally important are the environmental, social, and economic impacts of a particular strategy. Converting to sustainable practices does not mean simple input substitution. Frequently, if substitutes enhanced management and scientific knowledge for conventional inputs, especially chemical inputs that harm the environment on farms and in rural communities. The goal is to develop efficient, biological systems which do not need high levels of material inputs.

Consideration of farmer goals and lifestyle choices Management decisions should reflect not only environmental and broad social considerations, but also individual goals and lifestyle choices. For example, adoption of some technologies or practices that promise profitability may also require such intensive management that one’s lifestyle actually deteriorates. Management decisions that promote sustainability nourish the environment, the community and the individual.

However, there may be situations where the use of synthetic chemicals would be more “sustainable” than a strictly nonchemical approach or an approach using toxic “organic” chemicals. This approach may use less energy and may compact the soil less than numerous passes with a cultivator or mower.

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The origin of agriculture involved both human intentionality and a set of underlying ecological and evolutionary principles 21


Animal roduction ractices

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Earlier, most farms integrated both crop and livestock operations. Indeed, the two were highly complementary both biologically and economically. Crop and animal producers now still depend on one another, but the integration now most commonly takes place at a higher level between farmers, through intermediaries, rather than within the farm itself. This is the result of a trend toward separation and specialization of crop and animal production systems. Despite this trend, there are still many farmers that integrate crop and animal systems either on dairy farms, with range cattle, sheep or hog operations. Even with the growing specialization of livestock and crop producers, many of the principles outlined in the crop production section apply to both groups. The actual management practices will, of course, be quite different. Some of the specific points that livestock producers need to address are listed below.

Management Planning

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Including livestock in the farming system, it increases the complexity of biological and economic relationships. The mobility of the stock, daily feeding, health concerns, breeding operations, seasonal feed and forage sources, and complex marketing are sources of this complexity. Therefore, a successful ranch plan should include enterprise calendars of operations,


stock flows, forage flows, labour needs, herd production records and land use plans to give the manager control and a means of monitoring progress toward goals.

Animal Selection

The animal enterprise must be appropriate for the farm or ranch resources. Farm capabilities and constraints such as feed, forage sources, landscape, climate and skill of the manager must be considered in selecting which animals to produce. There is a wide range of breeds available in each of the major ruminant species such as cattle, sheep and goats.

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Animal nutrition

Feed costs are the largest single variable cost in any livestock operation. While most of the feed may come from other enterprises on the ranch, some purchased feed is usually imported from off the farm. Feed costs can be kept to a minimum by monitoring animal condition and performance and understanding seasonal variations in feed and forage quality on the farm. This determines that the optimal use of farm-generated products is an important challenge of diversified farming.


Herd Health

Animal health greatly influences reproductive success and weight gains, two key aspects of successful livestock production. Unhealthy stock waste feed and requires additional labour. A herd health program is critical to sustainable livestock production.

Grazing Management

Most adverse environmental impacts associated with grazing can be prevented with proper grazing management. Firstly, the number of stock per unit area must be correct for the landscape and the forage sources. There will need to be compromises between the convenience of tilling large, unfenced fields and the fencing needs of livestock operations. Use of modern, temporary fencing may provide one practical solution to this dilemma. Second, the long term carrying capacity and the stocking rate must take into account short and long-term droughts. Finally, the manager must achieve sufficient control to reduce overuse in some areas while other areas go unused. Prolonged concentration of stock that results in permanent loss of

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vegetative cover on uplands or in riparian zones should be avoided. However, small scale loss of vegetative cover around water or feed troughs may be tolerated if surrounding vegetative cover is adequate.

Confined Livestock Production

Animal health and waste management are key issues in confined livestock operations. The moral and ethical debate taking place today regarding animal welfare is particularly intense for confined livestock production systems. The issues raised in this debate need to be addressed. Confinement livestock production is increasingly a source of surface and ground water pollutants, particularly where there are large numbers of animals per unit area. Expensive waste management facilities are necessary cost of confined production systems. Livestock production systems that disperse stock in pastures so the wastes are not concentrated and do not overwhelm natural nutrient cycling processes have become a subject of renewed interest.


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Sustainable Agriculture

Agriculture is our wisest pursuit because it will in the end contribute most to the real wealth, good morals, and happiness

�

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&

Economic, Social Political Viability 26

In addition to strategies for preserving natural resources and changing production practices, sustainable agriculture requires a commitment to changing public policies, economic institutions, and social values. Strategies for change must take into account the complex and ever-changing relationship between agricultural production and the broader society. The “food system� extends far beyond the farm and involves the interaction of individuals and institutions with contrasting and often competing goals including farmers, researchers, input suppliers, farm workers, unions, consumers, and policymakers. Relationships among these actors shift over time as new technologies spawn economic, social and political changes. A wide diversity of strategies and approaches are necessary to create a more sustainable food system. These


will range from specific and concentrated efforts to alter specific policies or practices, to the longer-term tasks of reforming key institutions, rethinking economic priorities, and challenging widely-held social values. Areas of concern where change is most needed include the following:

Food and agricultural policy

The existing federal, state and local government policies often impede the goals of sustainable agriculture. New policies are needed to simultaneously promote environmental health, economic profitability, and social or economic equity. Tax and credit policies could be modified to encourage a diverse and decentralized system of family farms rather than corporate concentration and absentee ownership. Government and land grant university research policies could be modified to emphasize the development of sustainable alternatives. Marketing orders and cosmetic standards could be amended to encourage reduced pesticide use. Coalitions must be created to address these policy concerns at the local, regional, and national level.

Land use

and decision-makers about sustainable agriculture is an important priority.

Sustainable Agriculture

Consumers and the Food System

Consumers play an important role in creating a sustainable food system. Through their purchases, they send strong messages to producers in the system about what they think are important. Food cost and nutritional quality have always influenced consumer choices. The challenge now is to find strategies that broaden consumer perspectives, so that environmental quality, resource use, and social equity issues are also considered in shopping decisions. At the same time, new policies and institutions must be created to enable producers using sustainable practices to market their goods to a wider public. Coalitions organized around improving the food system are one specific method of creating a dialogue among consumers, retailers, producers and others. These coalitions or other public forums can be important vehicles for clarifying issues, suggesting new policies, increasing mutual trust, and encouraging a long-term view of food production, distribution and consumption.

Existing farmland conversion patterns often discourage farmers from adopting sustainable practices and a long-term perspective on the value of land. At the same time, the close proximity of newly developed residential areas to farms is increasing the public demand for environmentally safe farming practices. By helping farmers to adopt practices that reduce chemical use and conserve scarce resources, sustainable agriculture research and education can play a key role in building public support for agricultural land preservation. Educating land use planners

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STATISTICS 28


Sustainable Agriculture

Expected population growth in comparision to resource availability 90

Oil-Millions of Barrels/Day Phosphorus- Mt P/Year

70 60

Predicted

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Oil 10

Phosphorus World Population

8

50 6

Billions of People

80

Actual data

40 30

4

20 2 10 0

0

1900 1910 1920 1930 1940 1950 19601 970 1980 1990 2000 2010 2020 2030 2040 2050

Expected population growth in comparison to resource availability. The situation of the so-called ‘peak society’ highlights the urgency of breeding crops for low-input systems and improved resource management, as population and food demands are expected to increase while global resources decline. World population is projected to reach its maximum by the year 2050. This 45% increase of the current world population will boost the demand for food and raw materials. However, we live in a historical moment when supply of phosphate, water, and oil are at their peaks. Modern agriculture is fundamentally based on varieties bred for high performance under high input systems such as fertilizers, water, oil and pesticides, which generally do not perform well under low-input

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situations. Crop breeding programs that are more focused on nutrient economy and local environmental fitness will help reduce energy demands for crop production while still providing adequate amounts of high quality food as global resources decline and population is projected to increase.

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IN SINGAPO SUSTAI N SINGAPOR AGRICU STAINABLEIN A SINGA


AINABLE AG INABLE ULTURE NSUSTAINAB APORE


ASIA GARDENASIA GARDEN Be Naturally Inspired

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“The greatest gift that nature brings is its ability to restore the five senses.”No two gardens are the same, and no two days are the same in one garden, which is why each experience created by Gardenasia is just as exceptional as the next. Nature never goes out-of-style with Gardenasia’s 99-year-old heritage, timeless in its every creation. Let Gardenasia do what Nature does bestsoothe, heal and restore your senses


Sustainable Agriculture in Singapore

Andy, 36 years old, is a person who is passionate about his job as a gardener, has been in this industry for a very long time. He is the person in charge of Gardenasia and has been working there for a total of twelve years. Because of his passion, goal and love towards nature, he is still doing his duty although it is a tough job. Every morning, he will have to drive to Gardenasia for at least thirty minutes from his home and will reach at approximately 8.30am. He will start his job by doing all the paper work followed by taking care of all the plants there. Then, he will spend most of his day there and return home during evening. This is his daily routine since Gardenasia opening hours is 9am to 5pm daily. Although Andy has quite a number of hired workers to help him, he still tries to manage some things on his own. Most of the workers were quite old and were about to retire however, they were all experienced gardeners who has been working as gardeners for all their lives. Different types of plants can be found in Gardenasia but most of it is for beautifying the landscape. In the garden, ninety percent of it was imported and only ten percent were grown locally. The reason why he imports most plants is because some of the plants are not very suitable for it to be grown in Singapore thus, he can only import and sell it to customers. Normally, Andy will import different types of plants from different countries such as China and Malaysia because the prices are relatively cheap for it to be imported to Singapore. Even though his business was well managed, Andy also faces many challenges when trying to improve his business furthermore. One of the challenges that he faces was

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that he could not expand his business because it is very difficult to compete with neighbouring countries such as Malaysia where they have huge plot of land for them to grow and sell the plants in large quantity. Thus, it makes Andy worried when there aren’t many visitors in the garden. During different seasons or festivals, he would change the plants to a new variety. Andy likes Chinese New Year the most because this is the period of time where his garden will be filled with plants such as mandarin oranges and visitors would go to his garden personally to choose the plants. “During Chinese New Year, I will also play songs for the plants because it is beneficial to it as it will look much livelier” says Andy.

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Petals and Leaves Bistro – Au Natural Other than the garden, Andy also recommends visitors to patronise the bistro that is located just beside the garden in Gardenasia. At Gardenasia’s very own Bistro, the skilled chef will whips up sumptuous mouth-watering dishes using fresh ingredients straight from the surrounding farm. Visitors can also go to the farms to pick their own fruits off the trees and pluck leaves straight from the plants and let the chef to do the cooking. Address: 240 Neo Tiew Cresent Singapore 718898 Tel: +65 6898 9111 Fax: +65 6793 6511 Email: info@gardenasia.com


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FIREFLIES FARM FIREFLIES FARM Mr Chai, 32 years old, is an assistant has been working in Fireflies farm for about three years. Every day, Mr Chai who lives in Bukit Batok drives his van to work. Right in front of the farm is the shop where Mr Chai will help with the sales and arrange all the products that will be sold the shop. Fireflies farm belongs to his boss who has took over the business from his father. He likes he job a lot however, he is worried about his business because he feels that he may have to close he shop and farm. The reason is because the rental of the land is high and he may not have the ability to afford to pay it in future. Past memories seem to be appearing in his mind. “I had so much fun looking at my father growing the crops in the past. Today’s business can never match up to the past when many people would grow crops in their own plots of land.” he says. Over the years, the rental fee and utilities bills have all increased thus,

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Sustainable Agriculture in Singapore

he has no choice but to increase the price of his products. Although he feels that it is quite unfair to his customers, he cannot do anything to it. A large variety of crops can be found in the shop such as vegetables, fruits and herbs. Crops like carrots and potatoes are all imported from countries such as Thailand, United States of America and Australia except for vegetables which are grown by the workers in Fireflies farm. There are six NOs to Fireflies farm and they are: No pesticides, No Fungicides, No growth inducing agents, No herbicides, No chemical fertilizers and No animal waste. Other than vegetables and fruits, fireflies

farm also sell refreshing organic drinks which are imported from Australia. Thus, the prices of the products are relatively expensive since all of it is organic. Even so, there are still some customers who will specially take the Kranji Express bus that will alight in front of the shop or drive to the farm to buy those organic vegetables instead of buying it from the supermarkets. He is very close to the regular customers because they had been buying products from him for a long period of time. Today, government have the rights in everything and it really depends on government to allow him to continue his business. The worst scenario that he can ever imagine if the government intend to clear away the entire farm is to retire. However, if the government is willing to lease the farm to him, he will definitely continue with his job. Address: Lot 75 Lim Chu Kang Lane 2 Singapore 719842 Tel: +65 6793 7875 Fax: +65 6794 6908 Email: info@fireflies.sg

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FARM MR LEE’S FARM MR LEE’S

Mr Lee Kai Nam lives at Lim Chu Kang area where he also had a farm in front of his house. Because of his interest, he rented the place and set up the farm business 20 years ago. In the farm, Mr Lee lives with his wife and old parents. Although he has a few children and all of them were grown up from there, none of them are interested in looking after the farm and taking over the business. Furthermore, all of them have their own job and thus, they are all living on their own because it is very inconvenient for them if they live in the farm. At the farm, he grows crops such as guavas and mangoes to sell a huge

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Sustainable Agriculture in Singapore

percentage of it to his business partners while he will also sell the remaining of the fruits in his farm. All of the crops in his farm are organic but he still sells it an affordable price. Mr Lee’s fruits can be found in quite a few places in Singapore however, he does not earn much because the expenses to maintain the whole farm are quite big. It is impossible for Mr Lee to maintain the whole farm alone so he hired a few workers to help him with the fertilising, watering and plucking of fruits. Due to the humid weather in Singapore, some of the crops that are not suitable to be grown have already dried up. Crops such as ladyfinger and corn are left with a small amount. Only about two-third of the land can be used for growing fruit crops. He also grows plants for landscape purposes which are not sold.

Mr Lee also raises a huge dog in the farm so that it can look after the whole farm when he is not around. “There aren’t many farms left in Singapore. I hope that the government will allow us farmers to continue with our job so that our future generation can at least see what farming is all about” says Mr Lee. Mr Lee really hopes to continue with his job if the government allows him to do so.

Mr Lee always travel around with his car for convenience purposes and also because they aren’t any public transport that will drive into the farms.

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DAIRIES HAY HAY DAIRIES

Hay Dairies is a small goat farm which belongs to Mr John Hay, 58 years old. The founder was Mr Hay Yak Tang who set up his business during the 1980s and Mr John Hay took over the business 18 years ago. Previously, the family used to raise livestock like pigs, chickens, ducks and crocodiles however, when pig-farming was being phased out in the 1980s, they did a research and found out that there were a lack of goat’s milk suppliers. Hence, they decided to move into goat farming. In the farm, Mr Hay raises about 800 goats of mixed breed from America, producing milk for sale while using the latest milking, pasteurising, homogenising and bottling machines to produce fresh goat’s milk, which sells directly to customers. “All farming is tough” says Mr Hay. It is difficult for Mr Hay to do all the management alone thus, he hired a total of fifteen workers to help him with the milking, feeding of the goats and home delivery of goat milk. Hay Dairies have many regular customers who will specially drive all the way to the farm to purchase bottles of goat milk. Customers will also bring their own cooler box to put in the bottles so that it will remain fresh when they return home. Hay Dairies also provides home delivery for customers who wants to

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drink goat’s milk but do not have the time to purchase directly from the farm. Hay Dairies serves a niche market in Singapore, providing an alternative to those who are allergic to cow’s milk. Furthermore, the goat’s milk that Hay Dairies sells comes in two flavours, white and chocolate. Mr Hay understands that some customers are afraid of the strong goat milk smell thus, he came out with the chocolate flavour for these particular customers to try. The farm also welcomes visits and excursions for students. Families and individuals of a group can visit the farm anytime between 9am to 4pm to view

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the milking process which is available between 9am to 11am. Customers can view the goats and purchase the milk and souvenirs anytime between the opening hours. Large group’s visiting with more than twenty people will have to pay an entrance fee however, it includes milk and souvenirs. Taking care of the goats has already become Mr Hay’s hobby and with his passion, the business of Hay Dairies was good because there are quite a number of visitors and regular customers. Mr Hay hopes that the government will still continue to rent him the place so that he can continue taking care of the goats and his business if not, he will have to retire.

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Address: No.3 Lim Chu Kang, Agrotech Park Land 4, Singapore 718859 Tel: +65 6792 0931 Fax: +65 6794 1580

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Bibliography Fess T.L., Kotcon J.B. Benedito V.A. Crop Breeding for Low Input Agriculture: A Sustainable Response to Feed a Growing World Population. Sustainability. 2011; 3(10):1742-1772 Kricher, J. A Neotropical Companion: An introduction to the animals, plants, & ecosystems of the New World Tropics. New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1997 Kelli B. Haywood. Abingdon, V.A. Sustainable Agriculture: A Mountain Mama, 2010.

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Harvest  

A book publication on sustainable agriculture.

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