3 farms to operate 5 Lim Chu Kang land parcels

Land set aside for bean sprout farming in Lim Chu Kang. Two bean sprout farms and a vegetable farm have successfully tendered for five land parcels in the area.
Land set aside for bean sprout farming in Lim Chu Kang. Two bean sprout farms and a vegetable farm have successfully tendered for five land parcels in the area.ST FILE PHOTO

Five land parcels for farming in Lim Chu Kang have found new operators, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said yesterday.

Three companies - Ser Poh Farming & Trading Enterprise, Bean Farm and Liteleaf - will run the plots over 20 years, starting from February next year at the latest. Four of the plots will be for bean sprout farming and the other for vegetable farming.

The land parcels were sold in a public tender with proposals assessed on production capability, production track record, relevant experience and qualification, and innovation and sustainability, the SFA said.

The tender was launched on June 19 and closed on Aug 14.

The largest parcel, nearly 21,000 sq m - slightly larger than three football fields - is for vegetable farm Liteleaf. The two bean sprout farms have two parcels each, with Ser Poh Farming & Trading Enterprise occupying 12,635 sq m and Bean Farm taking 14,037 sq m.

The SFA said: "These companies submitted proposals that incorporated productive and innovative farming systems, such as the use of advanced water treatment systems, energy-efficient lighting and solar systems, fully automated irrigation systems with temperature and humidity sensors for bean sprout farming, as well as mobile gully systems to automate crop spacing and retrieval for vegetable farming."

The two bean sprout farms are consistently the top local producers of bean sprouts, and are committed to achieving even higher productivity levels, SFA added.

"The successful tenderers incorporated innovative technologies that would allow them to 'grow more with less, sustainably'. Singapore is limited on land and resources, and farms need to continue to harness technology to be productive, climate resilient, resource efficient and sustainable," said Mr Melvin Chow, SFA's senior director of food supply resilience, adding that this will move SFA closer to achieving its "30-by-30" goal, which is to produce 30 per cent of Singapore's nutritional needs locally by 2030.

Liteleaf co-founder Loh Jien Mei said: "We are looking to implement automation through technology for hydroponic vegetable growing, which has been proven to reduce labour and increase productivity.

"We are also developing a monitoring system to collect environmental growth conditions on the cloud, enabling us to perform advanced analytics in future."

The Government announced in 2014 that redevelopment works in Lim Chu Kang would displace 62 farms. The tenures of the affected farms were extended in 2016 until the end of this year.

In 2016, Singapore had six bean sprout farms that supplied 70 per cent of the vegetable sold locally.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2019, with the headline '3 farms to operate 5 Lim Chu Kang land parcels'. Print Edition | Subscribe