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New facility for high-tech farming, R&D to be ready by 2021: Koh Poh Koon

New facility for high-tech farming, R&D to be ready by 2021: Koh Poh Koon

Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon speaking in Parliament on Monday (Mar 4).

SINGAPORE: As part of efforts to grow the food and agri-tech sector, a new 18-hectare Agri-Food Innovation Park will be built in Sungei Kadut.

The first phase of the park will be ready from the second quarter of 2021, with potential for future expansion, said Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry Koh Poh Koon in Parliament on Monday (Mar 4).

Speaking during his ministry’s Committee of Supply debate, Dr Koh said the park will bring together high-tech farming and research and development activities, including indoor plant factories, insect farms and animal feed production facilities.

Such infrastructure can “catalyse agri-tech innovation and co-creation among industry players”, he said, adding that the agri-technology sector offers "exciting job opportunities”.

READ: The future of local farming: Balancing technology and nature

“The food and agri-tech sector is a S$5 trillion global industry that is growing rapidly, fuelled by new innovations in processes and products," Dr Koh said. "Our good innovation climate, our strong talent base, reputation for food safety and strategic location position us very well to capture a slice of this industry, particularly in Asia."

In addition, Dr Koh said he will be leading a multi-agency team looking at how the Government can better support the agri-tech industry in the areas of industry and enterprise development, R&D, manpower and regulations.

“This steering committee will work closely with industry players and associations such as the Singapore Agro-Food Enterprises Federation (SAFEF) to take on board industry feedback,” he said.

Dr Koh reiterated Singapore’s vision to be a leading urban agriculture and aquaculture technology hub with a food production model that can be exported to the region.

READ: High-tech farms in Singapore take on cold-weather crops


Advanced manufacturing is another promising growth area undergoing rapid transformation in Singapore, Dr Koh noted

"We are building new niches in areas such as additive manufacturing and advanced materials, by deepening the capabilities of our companies and workers," he said.

The Government is also developing "next-generation estates" such as the Jurong Innovation District (JID).

“The JID will feature innovative infrastructure such as an underground District Logistics Network that will free up surface land and provide seamless integration with JID buildings to transform the way we deliver goods,” said Dr Koh. 

Source: CNA/am(gs)


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