'We have to stop growing vegetables'

DRY: The soil at the farm in Kranji Agri Vista.

SINGAPORE - The farm has emergency plans for floods, but not droughts.

So vegetables at the farm in Kranji Agri Vistahave died in the dry spell.

"Our pond is completely dry. In my 2½ years of owning this farm, I have not encountered anything like this," said its owner, Mr Derrick Ng, 33, an urban farmer.

"We have to stop growing vegetables because they need too much water," he added.

Previously, his farm had been beset by frequent flooding as it is in a low-lying area. Now, a flood sounds more like a blessing than a curse.

CREATIVE SOLUTIONS

Mr Ng has turned to creative solutions to combat the dry spell. He has switched to growing corn, melons and gourds, which require relatively little water.

He also covers his fields with black plastic to slow the evaporation of water from the soil, and has deepened his pond in preparation for the day when it rains again.

Despite his efforts, Mr Ng said his profits had "definitely been affected" because revenue from growing vegetables was formerly the mainstay of his earnings.

For now, he can only hope that the 1.6m-deep pond, about the size of a basketball court, which is his key source of irrigation, will soon be refilled by rainfall.

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