AVA awards 3 land parcels for general agriculture at Sungei Tengah

SINGAPORE - Three land parcels that employed a new tendering process have been awarded for general agriculture in Sungei Tengah.

The tender method considered both the concept proposed for the site and the bid price.

Applicants were first assessed on their production capability, production track record, relevant qualifications and innovation and sustainability. Those who passed were then evaluated on price, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said on Monday (Feb 18).

Two other land parcels for food farming offered in the same tender window were not awarded as no proposals met both the concept and price requirements. These sites will be re-tendered in the second quarter of this year.

"There has been strong interest from local companies that propose productive, innovative and sustainable proposals," said Mr Melvin Chow, AVA's group director for Food Supply Resilience.

"We hope to see continued efforts to transform the industry to optimise the use of land, reduce reliance on unskilled labour, and bolster Singapore's food security."

There were eight bids lodged for the three plots meant for food farming and three for the two sites earmarked for non-food farming.

The two parcels for non-food farming are about 11,000 sq m each. A firm called Euth was awarded one for $509,000 while Aquarium Iwarna tendered $533,000 for the other.

The other awarded parcel, an 11,900 sq m site for food farming, went to a bid of $432,100 lodged by Opal Resources.

The concept and price method is used for general farms, which can have different herds, such as cattle and goat.

Land set aside for leafy vegetables, food fish, beansprouts and quail eggs is tendered using the fixed-price method. Site prices are fixed by the authorities and farmers are judged solely by the concept of the bid.

Opal Resources managing director Alex Siow said he plans to run a hatchery and fish farm on the awarded land together with partner firm Oceanus Group.

While he came up a winner under the concept and price tender method, he hopes that the AVA will use the fixed-price method more.

"I think the price concept is good if there is a good sample of previous prices, but for farming I can't find any good sample to use as a guide," he added.