SINGAPORE: Seven land parcels in Lim Chu Kang have been awarded to companies for vegetable and quail egg farming, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said in a media release on Friday (Dec 21).
Five land parcels for vegetable farming were awarded to three companies - LivFresh and Delish Veggies, Kok Fah Technology Farm, as well as Yili Vegetation and Trading.
Yili was awarded the largest plot of land, comprising three parcels measuring more than 60,000 sq m in total.
Two land parcels for quail egg farming have been awarded to Chi Agri Holding and N & N Agriculture, the media release stated.
These companies had incorporated into their proposals "productive and innovative farming systems", AVA said, such as "mobile gully systems to automate crop spacing and retrieval", "greenhouse cooling systems that can be controlled by light and temperature sensors" and quail egg farming systems with automatic feeders and egg retrieval belts.
The land parcels were tendered using the fixed price method to ensure that tenders are awarded based on the best concept proposals, instead of the highest bid prices, according to AVA. The tender was launched on Jun 26 and closed on Sep 4 this year.
"Awarding this tranche of land tenders to these productive, innovative and sustainable proposals is a major step forward for the transformation of our agriculture sector," said Mr Melvin Chow, AVA's group director for food supply resilience.
"We hope to continue to see more tenderers with productive farming systems participating in future land tranches," he added.
RAMPING UP SUPPLY OF LOCAL PRODUCE
Yili currently produces 600,000 tonnes of vegetables annually, with this figure projected to double after it shifts from its current 4-hectare plot to a larger, 6-hectare parcel from next year.
The 22-year-old business plans to spend at least S$12 million to build greenhouses installed with fully automated roofing and irrigation systems, as well as sensors that can monitor crop and temperature conditions.
It also plans to explore soilless planting, which could increase the planting area by 90 per cent, according to its manager Toh Yingying. Demand for its vegetables has increased by 20 per cent over the past year, with the move to go high tech aimed at ramping up supply.
N & N Agriculture, which runs a chicken egg laying farm and which also supplies eggs from third-party suppliers, will mark its first foray into the quail egg business.
Its farm at Lim Chu Kang currently produces more than 300,000 chicken eggs daily, meeting around 13 per cent of local demand. Its processes are already fully automated - from the discharging of feed and water, to manure removal and the collection of eggs.
This technology will be duplicated in its new quail egg farm once it is set up, said N & N CEO Ma Chin Chew.
“Currently, the demand (for quail eggs) is about 120,000 a day. But the local farms produce about 60,000 to 70,000. So there is still potential to produce more,” said Mr Ma.
“We will be doing not only the raw quail eggs, but also cooked quail eggs and also some quail for meat as well.”