Perfect starting location given partner opportunities with institutions and funding available
“With the completion of the most recent farm, GroGrace, we will be able to show investors and vegetable distributors the superiority of our technologies, in terms of farm efficiencies and quality of produce,” says Grace Lim, CEO of UFPSG (Urban Farming Partners Singapore).
GroGrace is a vertical farm based in Singapore that has been recently opened. UFPSG is the agtech behind the GroGrace farm solution. The team is working hard now to demonstrate proof of value for GroGrace1 by ensuring good revenue through actual crop sales. UFPSG has defined a roadmap for self-use to use learnings for GroGrace1 in optimizing the design further for an upscaled, future GroGrace2.
As a result of the new farm, the company has been receiving inquiries from several interested parties and is currently in talks with them on investment opportunities. Grace definitely sees great potential in replicating UFPSG’s total solutions throughout Singapore and other cities in the region like Beijing, Shanghai, the Middle East, Jakarta and many others. “Our ultimate aim is to turn growing cities into thriving farms and help cities be food resilient in a sustainable and responsible way,” Grace states.
(From left) Mr. Darren Ho, Head Grower, UFPSG, Mr. Ahmed Aboutaleb, Mayor of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Grace Lim, Co-Founder and CEO of UFPSG, Dr. Amy Khor, Senior Minister of State for Sustainability and the Environment, and H.E. Margriet Vonno, Ambassador of the Netherlands to Singapore and Mr. Wouter Vos, Co-Founder and Project Leader of UFPSG took a tour inside GroGrace.
For now, produce is sold to distributors that have a large customer base yet in the Food and Beverage sector. Grace shares that it really helps production know what to grow and how much. Good restaurants appreciate premium vegetables and GroGrace can get better margins without supply chain issues which can be challenging for a start-up.
“Though the main target audience for UFPSG’s GroGrace farming solution are governments, family offices and investors who share our vision of bringing fresh, clean and nutritious food closer to the people and helping cities be self-sufficient in terms of produce,” Grace affirms.
The aim is to showcase the capabilities and possibilities of the GroGrace farm to attract like-minded investors from Singapore and the region.
Schematic Diagram of the farm (Click here to zoom on the photo)
Wide product offer
GroGrace is planning to grow short-cycle crops in order to grow a wide range of products simultaneously within the cultivation system. These include all kinds of leafy greens and Spring Onion, Radish, Leek, Celery, Fennel and Kohlrabi. In addition, the company has plans to use digital technology to build a supply chain that allows tracking and tracing the produce from farm to fork.
For the current crop production batch, GroGrace is growing Lalique lettuce and the projected yield is 33 tonnes of vegetables every year minimally. The R&D department is looking to diversify and adjust the growing parameters to optimize them for other crops. “Including short cycles fruiting crops like strawberries and dwarf tomatoes. If it’s a viable business option, we will definitely develop it further,” Grace notes.
Singapore’s potential and backing
Grace sees great potential in replicating UFPSG’s total solution throughout Singapore, cities like Beijing, Shanghai, the Middle East, Jakarta and many others. The company uses proven and patented Dutch horticulture technologies, which according to Grace, can generate high yield of premium quality produce while preserving biodiversity and conserving water. “The future of farming is in a climate control environment and the world needs more indoor farms.”
Singapore invests consistently in high-quality scientific research including agriculture technology because the government strongly believes that technology can help build not only a smart nation but a sustainable world.
“This makes Singapore a perfect starting point for UFPSG because we will have many opportunities to partner with Higher Learning Institutions and technology institutions on R&D where once again funding support is available. Our aim is to showcase the capabilities and possibilities to attract investors from Singapore and the region. We want investors to have the confidence that they can replicate the same indoor urban farming solution throughout Singapore or other cities.”
UFPSG has been invited to participate in conversations regarding sustainable agriculture by the ASEAN Economic Community. “More government bodies are starting to see the criticality of growing food responsibly without further stressing the environment and that we cannot depend on the weather for food if we want to be self-sustaining.”
For more information:
Grace Lim, CEO of UFPSG
Urban Farming Partners Singapore