Some of you may have read about local fish farm Apollo Aquaculture opening a new high-tech joint venture farm in Brunei a few months ago. This helps to reduce the risk of supply disruptions by diversifying our food sources.
Another way to enhance our food security is to grow our food locally. Our farms are an important source of vegetables, eggs and fish. Local production provides a buffer against overseas food supply disruptions.
Given our limited space, we will not be able to produce all the food we need. However, new farming technologies allow us to significantly boost our production levels. Not only will this provide us with more locally grown food, it will also help our farmers scale up their businesses.
The Government will do more to help farmers adopt these new technologies. Some have already come on board.
For example, Yili farm is using taller growing houses and semi-automated curtain systems for better ventilation and temperature control. They have also installed curved plastic roofs to protect against the elements.
Yili’s vegetables are now growing better and harvesting losses have been reduced. Farm worker productivity has also increased as they can now work in the growing houses even during hot afternoons.
Another example is coastal fish farm, Marine Life Aquaculture (MLA). Previously, MLA needed over a week to manually transfer 100,000 fish fingerlings using plastic containers from their land-based nursery on Pulau Ketam to sea-cages 100 metres away.
MLA knew that there was a better way so they invested in a live fish pump. The same task can now be done in a day! Using a scanner with imaging technology, MLA is even able to track and count the number of fingerlings automatically during this process.
A modern agriculture sector will continue to play a key role in Singapore’s future, even as our economy evolves and our society becomes more urbanised.
This is why we have set aside new plots of farm land in Singapore for productive and high-tech farming.
These plots will be tendered out with longer 20 year leases, compared to the earlier blocks of 10 years announced previously. This follows from feedback we’ve received from farmers that they needed a longer period to recover the investments for new technologies. Furthermore, in assessing the proposals for these new farm plots, we will place greater emphasis on quality and productivity considerations.
AVA will release more details on the farm land tenders soon.
We hope both existing and new farmers will participate, and work with us on this journey to transform our farms.
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