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More than 20 hectares to be kept aside for orchid nurseries: NParks

OVER 20 hectares of land have been set aside for orchid nurseries by National Parks Board (NParks), with the first tranche to be released for tender from June.

"This is the first time that land has been allocated for orchid nurseries, demonstrating the importance of orchids to Singapore's heritage," NParks said in a press statement.

Land parcels will come with basic infrastructure built up to the front gate, allowing nurseries to move in quickly and kick-start operations, while defraying capital costs. These land parcels will be in Lim Chu Kang and Sungei Tengah.

There will be a mix of one-hectare plots with a nine-year tenure - up for renewal every three years within that period - as well as two-hectare plots with a 20-year tenure that comes up for renewal every 10 years within that period.

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The first tranche of four orchid nursery plots will be available progressively for tender from June this year, with the first tranche comprising the two-hectare plots.

Orchid nurseries will also now be eligible for the Landscape Productivity Grant (LPG) incentive and manpower schemes, a co-funding scheme that helps landscape companies defray their investments in machinery and technology. Companies are eligible for funding of up to S$300,000 for mechanisation, adoption of technology, and innovation projects.

"NParks will continue to engage the orchid nurseries to formulate an orchid industry masterplan to sustain, grow and transform the sector," it added.

In November last year, NParks launched four plots of land for landscape nursery operations with nine-year tenures, with renewal every three years. A total of 13 proposals were received from eight tenderers. NParks is expecting to award the plots soon.

The next tranche of landscape nursery tenders, comprising plots on nine-year tenures, is slated for launch at the end of this month.