3 companies win tenders to run bean sprout, vegetable farms in Lim Chu Kang

The land (left) set aside for bean-sprout farming in Sungei Tengah Road.
The land (left) set aside for bean-sprout farming in Sungei Tengah Road.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Five land parcels for farming in Lim Chu Kang have found new operators, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) said on Tuesday (Nov 26).

Three companies - Ser Poh Farming and Trading Enterprise, Bean Farm and Liteleaf - will be running the land plots with four for bean sprout farming and the other for vegetable farming over a period of 20 years, starting from February next year at the latest.

The land parcels were sold in a public tender using the fixed price method, where the proposals from farms were assessed based on production capability, production track record, relevant experience and qualification, and innovation and sustainability, SFA said in a statement.

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

The largest parcel has a land area of nearly 21,000 sq m  slightly larger than the size of three football fields, and will be set aside for the vegetable farm Liteleaf.

The two bean sprout farms have two lands parcels each, with Ser Poh Farming and Trading 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 who were awarded the tender are consistently the top local producers of bean sprout who are committed to achieve even higher productivity levels in their proposals, 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 in food supply resilience, adding that the latest move 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.

Ms Loh Jien Mei, co-founder of vegetable farm Liteleaf, 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 grow conditions on the cloud, enabling us to perform advanced analystics in future."

The Government announced in 2014 that redevelopment works would take place in Lim Chu Kang, displacing 62 farms.

The tenures for the affected farms were extended in 2016 by the then Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority until the end of this year.

In 2016, there were six bean-sprout farms in Singapore that supplied 70 per cent of the vegetable sold locally.