Urban Farming in Malaysia - The tech behind the industry
Urban farming in Malaysia is rapidly building its roots within urban communities and schools. But what does it take to go beyond that? Here’s our take on the potential of urban farming and the technology behind it in Malaysia.
But first, let’s begin with what urban farming is…
Urban farming is the process of cultivating and processing crops in an urban setting. It is also known as urban agriculture and urban gardening. These terms are used interchangeably, but here at Urban Farm Tech, we prefer calling it urban farming.
Unlike traditional farming that requires manpower and massive land resources, urban farming relies on technology to do the heavy work. It is still on its way before it becomes the go-to commercialized agricultural tool but right now, urban farming is an excellent alternative food source complementing commercial produce.
So, why is urban farming gaining popularity?
Here’s where urban farming carries a unique advantage. It doesn’t require fertile land and instead takes its form in space. Any vacant space can be a great site to start your urban farming journey.
For the urban environment, it presents itself as a good alternative for future farming because of the availability of untapped urban spaces such as condominium rooftops, balconies, school gardens, urban landscapes and office spaces.
Let’s take a brief look at the technology behind urban farming
Urban farming may be simply understood as farming in the city but there’s more behind the implementation of a successful farm setting.
How is this possible made possible? This is where aquaponic farming systems come in.
Aquaponics is a symbiotic collaboration between aquaculture and hydroponics. Aquaculture means the process of growing fish and other aquatic animals. Hydroponics involves growing plants without using soil. The relationship here complements one another as the plants benefit from the nutritious microbes in the aquatic animal’s waste and in turn cleans the water for the aquatic animals.
Aquaponics’ flexible technology makes it easy to install into various spaces including both indoor and outdoor environments. The flexibility of the system means that the size and structure can be easily altered to suit the available space. The technology allows the farm to be adaptable to the lifestyle of an urbanite.
Now that there is a self-sustaining system for the farm, how do we increase the production of crops?
Here's where a vertical farming system helps,
There are many ways to integrate urban farming technology into any space. The vertical farming system allows plants to be stacked on top of each other. The ability for vertical farms to be stack-able enables limited spaces to be converted into highly productive urban farms.
Urban farming in Malaysia
The climate in Malaysia provides a conducive environment for urban farming. The warm and predictable weather patterns in Malaysia allows for various crops to grow healthy without much external interference.
Benefits of urban farming are plenty regardless of whether you are a corporation, a commercial farmer or an urban farmer in Malaysia. Here are some of them:
Fresh produce right in your home. Having a direct source of crops in your home means you will have control of the food you’d like to grow and consume.
Maximize efficient use of space. The flexibility of an urban farming system allows any space to be converted into an urban farm.
Provides learning opportunities for all ages. It provides children with the knowledge of food growth from scratch. For adults, it is a great way to raise awareness of food sources. For example, under the Program Transformasi Sekolah 2025 (TS25), an initiative under the Malaysian government, schools liaise with urban farming companies to integrate farming in school gardens for teaching purposes.
Build a sense of community and CSR projects for large organizations. Because agriculture sites are located far from the city, there is often a disconnect between urban folk and the understanding on the food production process. Schools and corporations have become aware of this issue and incorporate urban farming into their curriculum and CSR projects.
If you’d like to get started with urban farming and would know more about integrating urban farming into your home, organization or school, contact us here.