Kranji Farmpreneurs

By Manda Foo, KCA’s executive secretary and communicator of its social and environmental causes. At other times, she directs marketing at a travel company, reads, practices yoga and spends time outdoors.

What do a herpetology workshop, a pottery jungle, a kampung kedai (village shop) peddling kedongdongs and chaptehs, and a stunning nature-inspired outdoor wedding have in common? Imagination, innovation and a whole lot of resilience.

These are just four of the dozens of interesting activities you would find out in Singapore’s Kranji countryside, a hidden green corner of well-kept secrets. In a country that imports more than 95 per cent of its food, a neglected local agricultural sector is finding its new lease of life through “agri-tainment”, the infusion of recreational facilities into the business models of traditional working farms.

Since 2005, 35 farms across agricultural industries have come together to form the Kranji Countryside Association (KCA), a non-profit group that promotes local food production, eco-tourism, education and conservation. It has not only drawn Singaporeans and visitors back out to appreciate their own forgotten countryside, but also raised considerable awareness of a local food movement and the history and heritage of the Kranji farming area. The KCA’s young and entrepreneurial members have represented Singapore abroad at agricultural conferences, and will even be hosting 20 international delegates this November for a mission and exchange on the past, present and future of agriculture in Singapore.

Over the past 45 years, relentless urbanisation has forced Singapore’s farmers to the fringes, but the next generation of them are now re-emerging as farmpreneurs – full of creativity and energy. To experience their offers, take a weekend jaunt out to the Kranji countryside to visit a few of the farms open to the public.

It is easiest with a car, but possible also with public transportation. The Kranji Countryside Express runs every 90 minutes starting from 9am from Kranji MRT Station, stopping at Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserves, Tropical Aeroponics, Hausmann Marketing Aquarium, Gardenasia, Max Koi Farm, D’Kranji Farm Resort, Bollywood Veggies, Fireflies Health Farm, Hay Dairies and Jurong Frog Farm. Farmart Centre and Qian Hu also have their own shuttle services from Choa Chu Kang; visit their websites for details.

10 reasons to visit the Kranji countryside

  • Support local agriculture,eat fresh food straight from the farms and reduce food miles

  • Teach the young ones about plants and animals in a fun and interactive manner
  • Enjoy unhurried strolls in greenery and learn about local farming industries on informative tours
  • Relive the yesteryears of kampong gardens and longkang fishing.
  • Spot rare birds and huge monitor lizards
  • Walk, bike and dig your feet into good soil
  • Indulge in fish spas - Kiss a frog and marry the prince(ss)
  • discover the pottery jungle in Singapore’s famed dragon kiln
  • Celebrate your special occasions and have great parties in the Wild Wild West

Get your Kranji Countryside Map in the upcoming issue of Good Paper available in these locations and events, or get it from our online store.