December 06, 2013
(Hong Kong) While skyscrapers have taken over the majority of productive land in Hong Kong, some young Hong Kong citizens are going higher to create their own private farms.
“It’s a place for growing. For me, it’s kind of a place to escape, relax, and take care the garden,” said a 31 year-old business consultant Anthony Ko, who spends most of his weekends taking care of his model rooftop farm in Yau Ma Tei, a bustling business district of Hong Kong.
Anthony Ko is one of the four young co founders of Hong Kong Farm, a non-profit rooftop farming project in Hong Kong, which conducts regular workshops to train Hong Kong people in farming techniques and teach them how to make use of their available rooftop space.
Established two years ago, the Hong Kong Farm project is one of a few successful rooftop farming projects that aim to introduce modern urban farming to Hong Kong and promote awareness of organic farming to modern young people in Hong Kong.
“The idea is to connect people to nature,” said Mr Ko, adding that young people in such a big city have very few opportunities to experience nature and the way that farmers work.
The population of Hong Kong reached 7.15 million last year, but the vast majority of the city’s food supplies are imported from mainland China and other countries.
According to the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department, Hong Kong has over 2,500 farms, but they are able to supply only 2 percent of the fresh vegetables in local markets, while over 98 percent were imported.
Therefore, the Hong Kong government and the private sector have been working to promote awareness of organic farming and local products.
AFCD has also encouraged Hong Kong farmers to turn to organic farming and seek other means to extend their farming activities. By June 2013, according to a report from AFCD, Hong Kong had over 460 organic farms.
The University of Hong Kong has become one of many private entities to promote local farming. The Rooftop Farming Project, which has been planting crops since June, was officially launched last month to promote the idea of sustainable development and organic farming to students.
With just plastic boxes and compost soil, many vegetables—including salad greens, tomatoes, herbs and bitter melons—can been grown. The vegetables in the university’s project are now growing so well that they have entirely taken over the broad concrete floor of the Runme Shaw building in a massive swath of green leaves and stems. Continue reading Hong Kong Goes Higher for Farming