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No more diesel: S’pore Govt. to ban new diesel cars and taxis registration from Jan 1, 2025

diesel car singapore

Singapore will no longer register new diesel cars and taxis from Jan 1, 2025, onwards, following the government’s initiative to have all vehicles running on cleaner energy by 2040.

According to a report by The Straits Times today (July 10), this decision to phase out more polluting vehicles was announced in Parliament in March 2021 during a debate on the government’s environmental sustainability plans.

The Land Transport Authority (LTA) spoke to The Straits Times today, where they shared that new diesel car and taxi registrations have stayed below 1 per cent since then, due to the availability of cleaner alternatives.

The ban on new diesel cars and taxis precedes a broader requirement that all new cars and taxis registered from 2030 onwards must be cleaner-energy models.

Owners of diesel cars registered before January 1, 2025, will be able to renew their Certificate of Entitlement (COE) after the 2025 deadline. However, LTA clarified that they will face higher road taxes to discourage renewal.

This is in line with the existing policy, which imposes a road tax surcharge of 10 per cent to 50 per cent for vehicles older than 10 years, depending on the vehicle’s age.

However, the restrictions will not apply to cars imported and registered under the Classic Vehicle and Vintage Vehicle schemes. Here’s how the vehicles are classified:

  • Classic vehicles: Must be at least 35 years old from their original registration date and meet specific requirements.
  • Vintage vehicles: Heritage-rich cars, motorcycles, or scooters manufactured before January 1940.

What can diesel vehicle owners do?

As of May, about 17 per cent of all vehicles in Singapore ran on diesel. Among passenger cars, pure diesel models made up only about 2.7 per cent of the population of 650,001.

While taxis used to largely run on diesel, a large majority have since switched to petrol-electric hybrid or fully electric models. As of May, an estimated 16.8 per cent of the 13,330 cabs here were still diesel-powered.

Simultaneously, efforts to encourage commercial vehicle owners to switch from diesel to cleaner fuels include the Early Turnover Scheme (ETS) and the Commercial Vehicle Emissions Scheme (CVES).

The ETS allows owners of older commercial vehicles to replace them with newer, cleaner models at a discounted COE price, while the CVES offers cash incentives to owners of light goods vehicles who choose cleaner, mainly electric, models.

The number of diesel-powered goods vehicles decreased from 95.8 per cent at the end of 2020 to 88.6 per cent of the 143,565 goods vehicles in Singapore in May this year. For buses, 97.4% of the 18,007 registered were diesel-powered.

LTA has pledged to buy only cleaner-energy public buses and aims to replace half of its nearly 6,000 diesel-powered public buses with electric ones by 2030. Some private bus operators have also adopted fully electric models.

Health Minister Ong Ye Kung, who was the transport minister in 2021, informed Parliament that motor vehicles in Singapore emit about 6.4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2)-equivalent annually.

That said, switching all light vehicles, including cars and taxis, to electricity could result in a net carbon abatement of 1.5 to 2 million tonnes per year, which is roughly 4% of Singapore’s total national emissions.

Mr Ong also noted that transitioning from internal combustion engine vehicles to battery-powered ones can save net carbon by half, even if the electricity is generated from fossil fuels like natural gas.

Featured Image Credit: CarBuyer Singapore

Also Read: Singapore Charges Ahead: EV Adoption Accelerates, hitting 32.6% Market Share in 2024

She quit her 9-to-5 job to grow her ciabatta home biz into a full-fledged cafe in KL

Founded by husband-and-wife duo Helene Hatta and Armand Ahyahudin, Chi Chi‘s journey began three years ago, a delicious tale that’s as heartwarming as their signature ciabatta bread.

Helene, a former PR executive with a knack for baking, started small. “I started baking from home, initially just for fun,” she recalled. 

“My Instagram handle was Lil’ Chi, where I sold ciabatta and spreads like olive tapenade and chicken liver pate. It was a humble beginning, but it sparked something in me.”

Helene’s love for food can be traced back to her school holidays spent working as a waitress at her late aunt’s restaurant in Penang. 

“Watching my aunt run her restaurant left a lasting impression on me. It was then that I realised the joy of sharing delicious food with others,” she told Vulcan Post.

Unlike Helene, Armand, her husband, had no prior business experience. Working a corporate 9-to-5 job in banking and management consulting, he was far removed from the world of entrepreneurship. 

However, his unwavering support for Helene’s passion led him to take a leap of faith.

“We decided to turn her home baking into something bigger. It was a risk, but one we were willing to take,” Armand shared.

The birth of love

Helene started off selling homemade ciabatta and spreads through Lil’ Chi on Instagram.

Image Credit: Chi Chi

Soon, friends and family were raving about her creations, with Helene’s biggest fan being her own father-in-law. His weekly requests for fresh bread became the catalyst for something bigger.

Together with her husband, they envisioned a cosy brunch spot, built around Helene’s love for ciabatta. This dream found its first home in January 2021, tucked away within Fugu, a Japanese restaurant owned by Helene’s father-in-law.

Here, Chi at Fugu (as it was then called) offered a unique brunch menu, featuring dishes made with their signature ciabatta. The concept was simple: delicious brunch, all on ciabatta. 

“We initially aimed to create a small, quaint brunch spot centred around ciabatta.”

Image Credit: Chi Chi

“But soon, we were operating at full capacity regularly. That’s when we realised it was time to expand into a physical outlet,” Helene explained.

A unique fusion of flavours

Thus, in March 2022, Chi evolved into Chi Chi, a standalone cafe brimming with personality. The location shift, from Ampang to Dang Wangi, was strategic. They wanted a space that was easily accessible, catering to their loyal customers spread across the city.

Chi Chi’s menu reflects Helene’s culinary adventures. Inspired by her travels through Australia and New Zealand, the cafe offers an “Asian fusion” experience.

Image Credit: Chi Chi

“The dream menu concept of the cafe was always Asian fusion,” they said. “However, we incorporated kopitiam elements because the crowds in KL love their Asian breakfast. My mum, an amazing cook, helped us put a little of that into the menu.”

Chi Chi’s menu features a range of delightful dishes that keep customers coming back.

“Our Salt Beef Sandwiches, brined for 10 days, and Brioche French Toast with poached pear, cream cheese, beef bacon, and homemade brioche are customer favourites,” the founders shared. “The cream cheese pancake is also a hit.”

The cafe has also incorporated top-selling dishes from Aunty Nee Nee, a sister eatery of Chi Chi that’s named after Helene’s mother. “Aunty Nee Nee is actually my mother and all recipes used were hers,” said Helene.

Other than their ciabatta, they have now expanded their bread offerings and included items like focaccia, sourdough, and brioche.

Image Credit: Chi Chi

Growing pains and triumphs

Like any entrepreneurial journey, Chi Chi’s path has not been without challenges. The decision to expand into a standalone cafe was driven by the need for a more accessible location and the desire to create a unique identity.

“We wanted to be a standalone cafe and branch out to a better location since our customers come from different parts of town,” they said. 

Helene and Armand’s commitment to quality and consistency is evident in every aspect of Chi Chi. They have a dedicated team, including their longest-staying chefs Nurhasniza and Nurshahadah, who ensure that every dish meets the highest standards.

Image Credit: Chi Chi

“We started with just four staff members, and now we have eight.”

“Our kitchen team is crucial for maintaining quality, and we’re often in the kitchen or on the floor, monitoring the plating and consistency of each dish,” they shared.

Besides, financial limitations, a natural hurdle for any new business, were tackled head-on by Armand’s resourcefulness. 

He explored government funding for small businesses, a testament to their dedication and the cafe’s potential.

Their efforts paid off, and while profitability isn’t the immediate focus, the couple happily reported that revenue is growing.

Looking ahead

As Chi Chi looks towards the future, their vision is clear: to become a long-standing culinary landmark in Kuala Lumpur. But their ambitions don’t stop there. 

The dream of grab-and-go kiosks offering their signature sandwiches and coffee across Malaysia is a delicious prospect.

Image Credit: Chi Chi

It’s a way to share their love for good food with a wider audience and make the Chi Chi experience accessible to more people.

With its warm atmosphere, delicious food, and passionate founders, this cafe is more than just a place to eat—it’s a story waiting to be savoured, one bite at a time.

  • You can learn more about Chi Chi here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Also Read: What makes these Intel AI-powered PCs suitable for businesses looking to boost efficiency

Featured Image Credit: Chi Chi / cravingbelly.gie

Never too big to fail: SUPER Group scion on building & growing a CPG brand like Oatbedient

Recently, we chatted with Elaine Teo of Oatbedient to learn more about the homegrown oat milk brand. You can read more about the business, which was founded by the family behind coffee empire SUPER Group, here.

“Frankly, we come from a background where we do all these instant format beverages, so we’re very familiar when it comes to the creating of product formulations,” Elaine had shared during our interview.

Of course, technical expertise isn’t something that’s easily replicable, unless you’re willing to invest a lot of time, money, and effort. What might be more replicable, though, is good business practices.

Here were some pearls of business wisdom that we picked up from the scion during our conversation.

Study your consumers and the market well

Coming from a CPG (consumer packaged goods) background, the Oatbedient team knows about the challenges of their previous portfolio of brands.

Image Credit: Oatbedient

“In order to launch a product well, understanding your consumer is extremely crucial, you need to understand their mindset to know what they’re thinking and to fill in the gap that’s missing,” Elaine said.

She elaborated, “You identify an opportunity, no one is in that market trying to fit that opportunity, and you jump into it.”

Keep a broad lens when developing a brand

While creating the branding for Oatbedient, Elaine was very cognisant of having a global appeal from the get-go.

Image Credit: Oatbedient

To future-proof the brand and the scalability of the product, she made sure that there were no human elements in the branding itself, as this can be tricky when it comes time to enter new markets where relatability will be affected.

As such, they decided to create an oat-inspired mascot (that many think is a rabbit) named Oatdit.

Because of this mindset, it has been quite straightforward for the brand to promote their products across various countries and regions. The brand has even received positive feedback in the United States.

All hands should be on deck

During our conversation, Elaine expressed how proud she is that everyone in the team has a sense of ownership and integrity. Team members have proven that they will not take shortcuts and compromise the quality and ethos of the brand.

Image Credit: Oatbedient

The co-founder also shared that the team and the family all came together collectively to “pull their weight” and play a part in the formation of the brand.

For one, the name “Oatbedient” is a reflection of that culture.

Elaine shared that it was her brother, who had been CCed in an email thread that saw the idea of “Obedient Oats”, and suggested combining the two to create the punny portmanteau of Oatbedient.

It seems like there’s a sense of “no task is beneath you” and a hands-on approach when it comes to the Teo family.

Start conservatively

Just because there’s a big name like SUPER Group preceding Oatbedient doesn’t mean that the new brand gets to forgo basic business practices and just splurge when starting up the business.

Recognising that starting in supermarkets would incur a high cost, they had actually started small by focusing on ecommerce. Oatbedient was launched on Shopee, Lazada, as well as their own website, which helped them break into the market more easily.

Doing things for the community

“For us, apart from being just a product, an oat milk brand, we want to uplift more people in terms of aspirations,” Elaine had shared.

Image Credit: Oatbedient

As such, Oatbedient has a programme called the Community Code to celebrate artistry and local craftsmen.

There are three instalments in Singapore thus far, involving batik painting, marquage painting (hand-painting leather goods), and pottery. Not only do these activities engage the community, but they also give back to society.

Leverage experience, but don’t overlook trends

Elaine said that if Oatbedient were to start completely fresh, without the expertise of their past lives, the startup wouldn’t be able to achieve what they’ve achieved today.

Image Credit: Oatbedient

“Importantly, we start off with people who have got decades of experience in the CPG business, be it on channel distribution, marketing, or manufacturing,” she said.

But having that expertise and know-how may also do a disservice in terms of keeping things relevant and fresh. 

“I must say that we’re very lucky,” Elaine added. “The thing is, our chairman is actually quite progressive. He’s 73 years old but he’s so into trends.”

You’re never too big to fail

Being in the instant mixed drinks space, Oatbedient is up against some serious competition.

“For the entire team, we’re very used to competition, given that SUPER Group back then had so much competition, right?” Elaine said.

Image Credit: Oatbedient

Even for a name as big as SUPER Group, the team hadn’t been content with just staying still. Rather, Elaine believes in always striving to be the better version of yourself.

“You need to come up with new product innovation, you need to come up with new promotion, you need to be able to come up with new engagement and activities so that your brand remains relevant,” she said.

“It’s almost a continuous quest to get better and better each time. You do not rest on what you have achieved, but moving forward with new concepts, ideas, and creative things.”

  • Learn more about Oatbedient here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about startups here.

Also Read: What makes these Intel AI-powered PCs suitable for businesses looking to boost efficiency

Featured Image Credit: Apricot Capital

From lab coat to apron: This M’sian turned his chemist dad’s baking hobby into a cookie biz

Growing up, Shane Khaw’s father, who has a background in biochemistry engineering, was often the chef of the family, frequently plating up lunches and dinners. For the longest time, he had baking as a hobby.

“During Chinese New Year, for example, he would bake his very own pineapple tarts in a flowery shape and keep them in a jar for visitors to eat,” Shane proudly shared. “There was a time when his cravings would take over him and he would have to bake a random cake every week for the entire month!”

While baking his assortment of pastries, Shane’s dad would frequently ask him whether he thought the pastries could sell.

“And after years of hearing the same question, I finally had enough and decided you know what? Let’s do this,” he said.

Image Credit: The Baking Chemist

Given his father’s background in chemistry and his passion for baking, they decided to call it The Baking Chemist.

Together, Shane and his father launched The Baking Chemist in January 2024.  

Cooking it up with cookies

Right now, The Baking Chemist is primarily focused on offering cookies. Specifically, English-style scorched butter cookies.

Compared to the more conventional butter cookies, these are less starchy.

Flavours include Original, Butter Coconut, and Choc Chip. Prices range from RM32 to RM35. Customers can opt to buy a larger box that features all three flavours at RM60.

There’s also a unique “The Cookie Blind Box” product (RM45) that features exclusive flavours such as Original, Matcha, Early Grey, Coffee, Lemon, and Mystery. Purchasers of this will get two random flavours.

Image Credit: The Baking Chemist

According to Shane, their scorched butter cookies involve a strenuous process of browning French butter, enriching the intensity of the flavour and creating a nutty aroma.

In any case, the older Khaw seems to have the baking process down pat. What about their entrepreneurial chops, though?

Shane revealed that his father actually has had experience starting and growing his business before. He has also managed a couple of factories in the past, which has helped in optimising the baking process effectively.

The duo is occasionally joined by Shane’s mom as well, who would help with packing the cookies.

Image Credit: The Baking Chemist

“As for me, I wanted to be something more, expanding my skillsets and experience in an entrepreneurial way,” Shane said.

When The Baking Chemist initially started, he was still working a job in digital marketing. While his father focused on baking, he would be the one handling the social media and receiving customer orders.

For their social media content, Shane is aided by his partner.

“Since she does digital content planning for a living, I was able to learn a lot more about managing the social media content and especially shooting to create content,” he explained.

Now 25 years old, Shane himself boasts a business degree from Monash Malaysia. After graduating, he picked up a job in digital marketing but has since seized the opportunity to venture into The Baking Chemist full-time.

Slow and steady

With a minimal budget to work with, The Baking Chemist is rather small for now.

Image Credit: The Baking Chemist

“Starting the business we had little to no funds except for a few hundred from our pockets that were invested into the packaging,” Shane elaborated. “Once we had things going, we set aside some money to reinvest back into the business to keep things running as well.”

For now, the operations of the business are home-based, as they have yet to hit a ceiling on the production capacity.

Since the inception of the brand, the father-son duo has sold more than 250 boxes. Their biggest order was from a digital media agency for the purpose of corporate gifting, involving 120 boxes of pineapple tarts for Chinese New Year.

Image Credit: The Baking Chemist

The bootstrapped business has even shipped their products to customers in Sarawak.

With this promising start, Shane revealed that they do have plans lined up for The Baking Chemist going forward, specifically involving a wider range of new products. But the duo has chosen to keep mum about this for now.

A family that bakes together

So far, the biggest challenge for The Baking Chemist has been keeping up with the quality.

“We try our best to make sure every cookie leaves a good first impression on people’s taste buds,” Shane said.

Of course, not everything can be perfect as taste is a very subjective thing. Still, the father-son duo aims to offer the best products they can, since their proudest moments come from raving reviews.

Image Credit: The Baking Chemist

Running a business with family isn’t always easy, though. But to Shane, the experience has been quite positive.

“Honestly, it has been fun especially once you understand each other,” he said. “Disagreements would turn into discussions with logical arguments that spearhead decisions moving forward. We naturally draw a line between family and work which I think would be a positive vibe to have.”

It’s inspiring to see Shane taking the initiative to share his father’s talents and bakes with the rest of the world.

Whether they end up keeping The Baking Chemist small or scale it to something bigger, the baker finally has his answer—yes, his pastries can indeed sell.

  • Learn more about The Baking Chemist here.
  • Read other articles we’ve written about Malaysian startups here.

Also Read: What makes these Intel AI-powered PCs suitable for businesses looking to boost efficiency

Featured Image Credit: The Baking Chemist

S$650 million was lost to scams in 2023. Will AI Deepfakes drive this higher in 2024?

Someone recently called me from a mobile number, pretending to be a bank that needed my PIN details to clear a ‘stuck’ transaction. A quick visit to ScamShield’s WhatsApp bot, and I found out that this was indeed a new scam number, so the more reports against it, the quicker it will be blocked.

The fact that we still receive phishing calls and messages shows that these dated methods still work. According to the Singapore Police Force, Singaporeans lost $651.8 million in 2023 to 46,563 recorded scam cases, a 46% increase from 2023.

Singapore Police Force Scam Report 2023

Scammers are scamming smarter

It now seems that any social media exposure can attract scammers. They can quickly analyse your use patterns and target you with a scam tailored to your interest – like swimwear photos on Instagram, and you’ll soon get friend requests from attractive female profiles.

I’ve experienced a job scam call that referenced a registered business and used data from my LinkedIn profile, which meant that the scammer had a registered employer’s access to LinkendIn.

I nearly fell for this scam as well until the text reply told me to click on a Telegram link to arrange an ‘interview’—that set off my warning bells and sent me to check ScamShield.

The rise of AI deepfakes in scams

We’ve all heard about AI deepfakes, which are images, videos, and audio that AI software has digitally manipulated to misrepresent a public figure. For example, the deep fake videos of PM Lawrence Wong and Elon Musk promoting a fraudulent crypto exchange in Hong Kong.

With this recent media attention, the Singaporean public’s awareness of this type of cybercrime has heightened.

Image: Goody Feed

The latest improvements to generative AI, however, have made it easier for scammers to create a digital imposter using voice cloning and a deep fake generator for images and video. They target regular people with online romance scams, fake ransom scams, fake celebrity nude images, and even a sophisticated video scam that used real-time AI overlays in a video meeting to fool a finance worker.

What you can do to protect yourself

We asked Shane Chiang, CEO of Cybersecurity firm Momentum Z, for his advice on how we can take to protect ourselves and our families. Shane pointed out that Deepfake scammers use a variety of platforms to deliver their scams to potential victims. “Understanding the threat, the types of actor/scammer, and the common techniques and tactics that they use will allow us to be more aware and better identify a scam,” said Shane.

“The key to protecting yourself is to always Be Aware and Check for the real source.”

Shane Chiang

“Be aware of the dangers of deepfakes, that they can be used to damage someone’s reputation, spread misinformation, or even interfere with elections,” said Shane. “You should be sceptical of anything you see online, especially if it seems too good to be true.”

“Singapore’s Prime Minister promoting a product that does not make sense in everyday context should raise your warning flags.”

Shane Chiang

Also, pay attention to the quality of the video and look for inconsistencies. “Deepfakes can sometimes be spotty or unnatural-looking, especially around the eyes and mouth; the person’s voice may not match their lip movements, or the lighting in the video may seem off.” Says Shane, “Check if the video came from a reliable source or a new TikTok account.”

“Try to verify any information with multiple sources. Don’t rely on a single video as proof of something. Follow up with a call, SMS, video call, or have a face-to-face meeting. Use social media platforms that have taken steps to combat deepfakes. Some platforms are using machine learning to detect deepfakes and remove them from their sites.”

“Limit the amount of personal information you share online, as the more information that is available about you, the easier it is for someone to create a deepfake of you.”

Shane Chiang

“We have to be careful about what photos and videos we share online, especially images or videos that we make public. Once you share something on the internet, it can be difficult to control how it is used.” Said Shane. “Also, use strong, unique passwords and enable two-factor authentication for your social media accounts. This will make it more difficult for someone to hack all your accounts, learn about your family and interests, and create a deepfake of you.”

Finally, be wary of text messages that redirect you to click on a link to download an app or video, or strangers who want to video call you. Always use reliable online app stores to download safe apps.

Singapore’s Anti-Scam Measures

ScamShield

Developed by Open Government Products, in collaboration with the Singapore Police Force and the National Crime Prevention Council, ScamShield is a smartphone App that blocks calls and messages from a directory of identified scam numbers. Users can also report new scam messages to help build the database. 

Scamalert.sg

The National Crime Prevention Council offers a scam information site that includes the latest scam news, the top scam types of the past week, warning signs, real stories, and scam updates over its WhatsApp and Telegram channels.

A 9 a.m.- 5 p.m. weekday scam hotline is available at 1800-722-6688

Scam.sg

Has collated information on scam news in Singapore, including information on companies operating in Singapore with trust scores, scam reports and other resources.

Telco advisories

Each telco has a scam advisory, with warnings and information on the latest scams relating to their business.

Singtel

M1

Starhub

Feature Image: Shutterstock

This agritech solution by UiTM & TechnoDex aims to boost food security & empower B40 farmers

[This is a sponsored article with TechnoDex Berhad.]

Climate change has significantly impacted agriculture, causing unpredictable weather patterns and shifts in growing seasons. These changes cut crop yields, affecting B40 farmers who rely on their harvests for income.

At the same time, Malaysia’s rapid urbanisation is leading to a decrease in arable land.

These issues threaten food security, farmer livelihoods, and sustainable farming in urbanising regions. 

The agritech industry must find alternative ways to address these issues. 

That’s exactly what partners Grayscale Technologies (Grayscale) and Universiti Teknologi MARA Penang Cawangan Pulau Pinang (UiTM) aim to do with their Urban Farming Cabin.

Meet the team:

A subsidiary of TechnoDex Berhad, Grayscale provides technology solutions such as IoT, app development, cybersecurity, and more across various industries.

UiTM is a local public university focusing on subjects such as business and management, social sciences and humanities, as well as science and technology fields with 34 campuses around Malaysia.

No land? No problem.

Put simply, the Urban Farming Cabin is a high-tech, closed-environment unit designed to bring farming to urban locations.

Currently in its proof of concept stage, here’s how the cabin works:

A large shipping container is converted into a smart greenhouse. 

Inside this container, plants are grown without soil through a hydroponics system.

Image Credit: Grayscale Technologies

Internet of Things (IoT) sensors control the weather inside the cabin. These sensors track temperature, humidity, light, and nutrients in real time to optimise crop cultivation.

“For example, if the temperature inside the cabin gets too high or too low, the system can automatically adjust fans or heaters to maintain the ideal conditions for plant growth,” explained Mohamed Syazwan Bin Osman, the Project Lead of the Urban Farming Cabin and Senior Lecturer at UiTM.

The cabin’s closed environment protects crops from pests and diseases, ensuring consistent and high yields.

While it can be likened to a greenhouse, Syazwan clarified that this cabin is slightly different.

“Traditional greenhouses have their merits but often require large plots of land, which are not always available in urban areas. Furthermore, they rely heavily on manual monitoring and control, which can be labour-intensive and less precise,” he stated. 

These greenhouses also use soil and need extensive land and water. The Urban Farming Cabin, however, uses hydroponics, which can grow plants without soil and use significantly less water by up to 90% compared to conventional farming.

One of UiTM’s farming projects / Image Credit: UiTM

With IoT integration, they can have precise and automated control of the farming environment. This not only reduces labour but also boosts productivity and crop yields.

The Urban Farming Cabin is designed to be scalable as well.

“Our cabins are modular, meaning they can be set up anywhere, even in places without farmland, like city rooftops, parking lots, or unused spaces,” elaborated Tunku Izzudin Shah, Director of Grayscale and CMO of TechnoDex Group. “They can be stacked or arranged to fit different areas, making it possible to farm in urban areas.”

This flexibility helps produce fresh, local food and reduces the need to transport food over long distances, cutting down on carbon emissions while bringing fresh produce to more communities.

From food security to financial stability

B40 farmers are the primary beneficiaries of this system. Should the Urban Farming Cabin pan out as intended, it promises to upskill farmers through UiTM’s expertise, and eventually provide a reliable and sustainable source of income. 

“By producing high-value crops such as salad greens, which have seen a significant price increase in recent years, these farmers can achieve better economic stability and move towards higher income brackets,” Tunku Izzudin Shah added.

Students learning about the setup / Image Credit: UiTM

The system’s efficiency and low resource requirements make it particularly suitable for urban farmers who face constraints on their agritech skills gap.

Ultimately, Grayscale and UiTM’s main objective for farmers is to educate them on new agritech methods that can produce high-value crops based on market demand. This empowers B40 farmers with the skillsets and potential for higher earning power to sustain their livelihoods.

To ensure that the Urban Farming Cabin remains economical for B40 farmers to adopt, Grayscale and UiTM have several plans to make it financially viable.

For one, a CODO (Company Owned, Dealer Operate) model can be applied. It’s where the cabins are owned by a central entity, like a cooperative or agricultural company, and operated by local farmers. 

This model shares investment costs, reducing the financial burden on individual farmers. Farmers can also lease the cabins or join profit-sharing arrangements, benefiting without large upfront investments.

Securing subsidies and grants for B40 farmers is another strategy. Syazwan elaborated that programmes like the Rancangan Malaysia Kedua Belas (RMKe-12), which promotes smart agriculture, can provide financial support.

Salad cultivated from the indoor cabin system / Image Credit: UiTM

For distribution, the team plans to establish supply agreements with restaurants, supermarkets, and food processors for fresh, locally-grown produce. This approach ensures farmers have a reliable income stream.

It starts with a seed

The Urban Farming Cabin goes beyond simply placing a farm in a container.

Grayscale and UiTM aim for this project to set a benchmark in sustainable urban agriculture that’s scalable and replicable worldwide.

“By demonstrating the viability and benefits of integrating advanced technologies in urban farming, we aim to inspire other communities and institutions to adopt similar practices. This can lead to a more resilient and sustainable global food system, capable of withstanding the challenges posed by climate change and urbanisation,” Tunku Izzudin Shah shared.

Official visit by YB Fahmi Zainol from the Penang Executive Council of Agriculture and Encik Muhaimin, Director of Department of Agriculture Penang / Image Credit: UiTM

Furthermore, integrating technology in the Urban Farming Cabin can greatly pique the interest of younger generations. Modern technology in agriculture makes farming more innovative and less labour-intensive, appealing to today’s youth.

Tunku Izzudin believes the project’s success will demonstrate IoT technology’s crucial role in precision farming, optimising crop production with data-driven insights.

“Moreover, the integration of IoT can facilitate better resource management, reduce waste, and improve overall efficiency,” he added.

The Grayscale and UiTM teams at the MoU signing / Image Credit: Grayscale Technologies

On June 7, 2024, UiTM and Grayscale signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), formalising their commitment to the research, development, and commercialisation of the Urban Farming Cabin.

By combining UiTM’s and Grayscale’s strengths, both parties are poised to innovate in agritech, addressing urban agriculture challenges and delivering tangible benefits to the B40 community and beyond.

  • Learn more about Grayscale Technologies here, and Universiti Teknologi MARA Penang Cawangan Pulau Pinang (UiTM) here.
  • Read more agritech-related articles here.

Also Read: Meet the startup that powers the backbone operations of over 7K M’sian F&B outlets

Featured Image Credit: UiTM / Grayscale Technologies

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

Vulcan Post aims to be the knowledge hub of Singapore and Malaysia.

© 2021 GRVTY Media Pte. Ltd.
(UEN 201431998C.)

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