SINGAPORE: An online user has shared a nostalgic photo of farmland in Potong Pasir from the 60s, making a handful of netizens nostalgic.
A Reddit user took to the online news forum on Tuesday (July 4) to share an old photo taken from the Singapore sky. “Farmland in Potong Pasir off Bradell Road, 1960s,” the post read.
In the comments section, the netizen shared a backstory of the photo. “Here’s another photograph taken by my grandfather Dr. Ivan Polunin in the 1960s,” the comment read. “This photo is a birds-eye view of some farms in Potong Pasir.”
The netizen pointed out that despite Singapore being as developed as it is today, it was once covered in farmland. “It’s quite unusual to see Singapore covered in farmland, but this was once the way of life for many people,” the online user wrote. “In fact, Orchard Road got its name from a stretch of orchards that was there at the time!
“If you’re interested in following along this project where I share records from the past captured by Dr. Polunin, you can follow over on Instagram (@ivanpoluninarchives) or Facebook (Ivan Polunin Archives). We’re are publishing a book soon of Singapore through the 50s to 80s, with over 1,000 never before seen images, follow our socials to keep up to date!”
The netizen copied the photo’s caption to give its appreciators more context, saying, “Singapore was not always the modern metropolis it is today, there was a time where we were more self-reliant on our food production. In the 1960s, Singapore had one of the world’s most intensive farming, with a population of over 1.5 million people and 240 miles of land. It was not uncommon for a family to work on small farms of less than an acre, raising as many as nine crops of vegetables a year, as well as chickens, ducks, and pigs.
“By the 1970s, 9% of the total population was engaged in some sort of agricultural activity, or dependent on farming or fishing for a living. The following years saw the rise of rapid urbanisation, and farmland would slowly reduce to make space for housing and infrastructure. Today, close to 90% of the food we eat in Singapore is imported. There have been strides to enhance local food production by investing in modern technology, such as vertical farms and aquaculture.”
A handful of online users left comments expressing their appreciation for the areal shot. “Wow, Singapore had rolling green hills dotted with quaint family farms at one point,” said one.
Meanwhile, a few others tried to pinpoint the exact location shown in the photo, with one saying, “Wait, isn’t Braddell Road the one that divides Bishan and Toa Payoh? I mean we had to at some point, but the fact that such a wide & important thoroughfare often complained about for traffic used to look like THIS is baffling – and all within the span of 60-odd years.”
The person who posted the photo replied, “We often forget (or sometimes don’t even know) how different Singapore used to be back in the day and how fast we developed!”