Urbanization and industrialization have taken ever larger amounts of land away from agricultural activity in post-World War II Singapore. (World War II was fought 1939–45.) Many of the rubber and coconut plantations that dominated Singapore's landscape before the war have disappeared altogether. Housing for a growing population—and factories for its employment— stand where rubber and coconut trees used to grow. Nonetheless, agriculture remains part of Singapore's total economic activity. Growing methods on the island are the most intensive in all of Southeast Asia.
About 1.6% of the land area is used for farming, and vegetables remain a significant source of income. Remarkably, through the decades of the 1960s and 1970s and into the 1980s, Singapore was able to increase its primary produce annually through intensification. In 1999, production of fresh vegetables totaled 5,000 tons, resulting in a decreased need to rely on foreign produce imports. Singapore's trade deficit in agricultural products was US $1.22 billion in 2001. Orchids are grown for export.