Industry guide to help companies set up farms launched

Companies looking to set up farms here can now refer to the new industry guide. PHOTO: MINISTRY OF SUSTAINABILITY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

SINGAPORE - Companies looking to set up farms here can now navigate the regulatory requirements with the help of an industry guide launched on Friday (Oct 9).

Enterprise Singapore (ESG) and the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said the guide is part of ongoing efforts by a regulations workgroup - set up by ESG and SFA in 2019 and comprising 11 other agencies - to review and update regulations supporting the farming industry.

The guide was developed with various industry players including the Singapore Agro-Food Enterprises Federation (SAFEF).

It covers both land-based and indoor farms, and provides guidance by consolidating information on the various regulatory approvals required, like fire safety requirements and farm licenses.

The guide also maps out tender and approval timelines to help companies manage their project deadlines.

Mr Melvin Chow, senior director of SFA's Food Supply Resilience Division and co-chair of the regulations workgroup, said: "We embarked on a project to develop the guide after receiving feedback from companies on the importance of having clarity on the various regulatory approvals required for the setting up of land-based farms in Singapore.

"By helping them better understand and navigate the regulatory landscape in Singapore, we hope to help expedite farm development which in turn will accelerate local food production as we strive towards Singapore's '30 by 30' goal."

The goal aims for 30 per cent of Singapore's nutritional needs to be produced locally by 2030, and was announced by former environment and water resources minister Masagos Zulkifli in Parliament in March last year.

Emphasising Singapore's food resilience efforts, Mr G. Jayakrishnan, executive director of ESG's Business Environment and Resource Division and co-chair of the regulations workgroup, noted that speed and regulation clarity are important for companies, and said that the guide is a practical tool to help local agriculture players get to market as quickly as possible.

Mr Dave Huang, Kok Fah Technology Farm's business development director, said clarity on regulations - that the guide provides - will help to reduce the time companies spend consulting various government agencies.

He added that with more clarity, companies can budget realistically, with a better understanding of the different costs involved in complying with regulations.

ESG and SFA said the guide will be updated regularly to reflect changes to existing regulatory requirements.

It is available for download on ESG and SFA's websites.

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