At Kok Fah Technology Farm, a machine sows 25,600 vegetable seeds per hour. They are then watered by automatic spray, cooled in a vacuum cooler and packed factory-line style.
Before they adopted such technology, workers at this Sungei Tengah farm used to dump buckets of water over their crops, broadcast seeds manually and sell their produce to middle-men in large rattan baskets. The new machines have helped the farm increase leafy vegetable production from 500 tonnes in 2008 to 1,400 tonnes a year now.
Such adoption of technology is being encouraged by the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), which on July 10 singled the 8ha farm out as an example for other farms here to follow.
The AVA, which works with farmers to encourage them to adopt technology to help increase productivity, aims to increase the local production of leafy vegetables to 10 per cent of total consumption here. This figure currently stands at 7 per cent.