Your picture: Rooftop farm's small plot serves only a small group of residents


It seems that urban farms are now the trend (HDB rooftops to get more urban farms, Feb 24).

I welcome this creative initiative to increase local agricultural produce, whether through commercial or community efforts.

I would like to know if there are any standard guidelines for selecting a space for agricultural use and how the rooftops will be converted, especially if a rooftop urban farm is non-commercial.

The carpark rooftop opposite where I live has just been converted into a community urban farm.

The rooftop was previously about 40 per cent turfed and 60 per cent hard ground. The conversion process simply involved turning the turfed ground into small farming plots. Today, 60 per cent of the entire floor is still hard ground.

My question is, if only such a small area is converted, then why convert it at all?

Previously, residents of the estate used the rooftop for various activities in the mornings and evenings.

I've seen residents practising taiji and yoga, and parents using the space to teach their young children how to cycle. Pre-schoolers from the neighbourhood kindergarten often went up to the open space to run around and get some sunshine.

Now, fences have been erected and only selected people can enter the grounds. My observation is that hardly anyone goes up there to do any farming.

Even if that weren't the case, who stays there throughout the whole day, under the hot sun?

I would understand if the entire floor were converted into an urban farm.

However, it looks like an entire floor has been blocked off to residents at all times, with just 40 per cent of the space used for farming, for a select few to use as their own private club, with tables and chairs set up.

This is a public space, and it should be accessible to the public, not to just a select few.

Alex Yeo

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