Local food producers are quietly leading the way in transforming cultivation methods, even though Singapore imports more than 90 per cent of its food.
They are turning to technology to help overcome land constraints, and industry experts said this is also helping to improve food quality standards here.
At Gills ‘N’ Claws Aquaculture, a single vertical farming structure can house 1,000 crabs compared to just 30 in the same area, using traditional methods. At full capacity, the farm can cultivate 40,000 crabs at one go and produce about 200 tonnes of crabs every year.
Each crab is hatched in Sri Lanka, and when they are about four months old, they are brought to Singapore, weighing about 400g. After about seven weeks, they weigh up to 1 kg – and they are ready for sale.
The company took more than two years to develop this technology, and it said it can price its crabs up to 30 per cent cheaper than its competitors.
Said Mr Steven Suresh, CEO of RBI Holding: “We can sea freight all our crabs, we have special containers designed to sea freight them to Singapore. They reach here in about five to six days, then they come to our farm and we fatten them there. (With) air freight, for 1 kg of crab, you pay about S$3.50 to S$4. (With) sea freight you pay S$0.20, or less than S$0.20 (per kilogram). So – (you will find) major savings.”
Gills ‘N’ Claws Aquaculture is among a growing number of food producers in Singapore finding innovative ways to farm to cope with land constraints.