On a small farm in Singapore, a relatively cheap and simple new technology is being tested that could benefit farmers throughout the region hit hardest by climate change.
Anti-thermal nanoparticles that reflect the sun’s powerful infrared rays have been imbedded in plastic sheeting. Thrown over greenhouses, the sheeting successfully reduces temperatures inside, resulting in increased production of lettuce and other vegetables.
This new technology could assist a range of farmers whose crops and livestock have been adversely affected by rising temperatures caused by climate change.
“Global warming has taken a toll on farmers globally. Farmers are now experiencing extremely hot and dry temperatures that have decimated crops,” said Associate Professor Matthew Tan, co-chair of the APEC Partnership on Food Security, who specializes on sustainable development in agriculture and fisheries.
“For the farmers to survive, the use of new technology is no longer a choice but a necessity,” said Tan, whose group is working to increase awareness and dissemination of such technologies, research and development that can help farmers in the region combat climate change.
The plastic sheeting technology was shared at recent APEC meetings, as the multilateral body bolsters its efforts to strengthen food security in the Asia-Pacific—including by, among other things, sharing knowledge and technologies that can mitigate the effects of climate change.