The Business Times

Firms with eco-friendly proposals awarded tenders to run two farms

Published Thu, Mar 11, 2021 · 08:20 PM

[SINGAPORE] As part of the shift towards sustainable agriculture here, tenders have been awarded to companies with eco-friendly proposals to run two farms here.

Solar panels, smart lighting and integrated waste management systems are among innovative features proposed by Nextgen Farms and Livfresh for a vegetable farm in Sungei Tengah and Hay Dairies for a general agriculture farm in Lim Chu Kang, both with 20-year leases.

Nextgen Farms and Livfresh plan to automate the growth of vegetables with technology such as hydroponic systems to increase farm productivity and reduce manpower on their 11,917 sq m plot in Sungei Tengah, said the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) on Thursday (March 11).

The land parcel went for S$174,000, based on a fixed price tender method, where proposals were assessed based on several criteria including production capability, production track record as well as innovation and sustainability.

Meanwhile, Hay Dairies' 10,000 sq m land parcel in Lim Chu Kang was tendered for S$500,000 through the concept and price tender method, which consists of two stages.

The first stage evaluates the proposals' concept based on criteria such as production capability.

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Those who pass the first stage are then evaluated on price.

The tender for both sites was launched on Sept 15 last year and closed on Dec 1 that year.

This latest move to build farms equipped with productive and sustainable technology comes as SFA aims to hit Singapore's "30 by 30" goal.

The target - set in 2019 and outlined in the Singapore Green Plan 2030 - seeks to produce 30 per cent of the country's nutritional needs through locally farmed food by 2030.

The use of technology could also cushion the agriculture sector from erratic rainfall patterns and rising temperatures induced by climate change.

The effects of climate change are increasingly felt as the frequency of extreme weather events increase, which could disrupt global supply chains and threaten global food production.

On Feb 17, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat announced that around S$60 million has been set aside for the Agri-Food Cluster Transformation Fund to help farmers harness technology in local food production.

For example, farms can apply for co-funding support to implement technology to enhance the efficient use of resources such as water and waste.

Singapore currently imports more than 90 per cent of food from over 170 countries and regions.

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