SINGAPORE - Using 3D-printed farming components and weaving permaculture elements into vegetable farms are some of the business ideas students came up with at the end of a six-month course that taught them to look at urban farming from an entrepreneurial perspective.
Students from the Singapore University of Social Sciences (SUSS) were trained under the Agri-preneur Incubation Programme (AIP), which started in 2022.
As part of the AIP, a rooftop farm of approximately 700 sq m was set up at an SUSS building in partnership with Nutrious Farms, a firm that aims to further sustainable agriculture and food security.
Nutrious Farms set up the basic elements for a soil-based and hydroponic farm, but left it to the students to give life to the space.
After three batches of AIP students, the rooftop farm is teeming with bok choy, lettuce, basil and cherry tomatoes.
“We want to first expose our students to the sector and then get them to try their hands at (growing produce) and ultimately develop start-up solutions for problems they observe in the agri-tech sector,” said Ms Priscilla Koh, head of SUSS’ Office of Entrepreneurship.
The optional course is open to SUSS students and alumni. At the end of the programme, they are required to pitch their business ideas and sell their harvested produce or products at a bazaar.
Fourth-year business analytics student Yeh Yu Kang, 26, and his team are planning to sell wraps containing their harvested greens and herbs.
The team has been working to perfect the recipe at the university’s food lab before the July bazaar on campus.
The AIP is among a number of urban farming-related courses that have sprouted in recent years to help build the agritech workforce here.
Mr Damien Lam, co-founder of Nutrious Farms and an AIP course leader, said: “With the knowledge that they acqui...