SINGAPORE: Six bidders have been awarded tenders for urban farming at nine sites on the rooftops of Housing and Development Board (HDB) multi-storey car parks, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) and HDB said on Wednesday (Sep 30).
In a joint news release, the agencies said that the bids for the five single sites and two cluster sites were determined by a price-quality method, where both price and quality attributes like production output, design and site layout, and business/marketing plan were taken into account.
Each cluster site comprises two sites.
The single sites - in Ang Mo Kio, Choa Chu Kang, Hougang, Tampines and Toa Payoh - were awarded to Abyfarm, IT Meng Landscape and Construction, Gaurav Saraf, Nature's International Commodity and Red Green Collective respectively.
IT Meng Landscape and Construction was also awarded the cluster site in Jurong West.
The remaining cluster site in Sembawang was awarded to Goh Lay Keow.
"The successful tenderers’ proposals included hydroponic and vertical farming systems with a variety of innovative features, such as IoT, blockchain technology and automated climate control," said SFA CEO Lim Kok Thai.
"With these farming systems, the sites have the potential to collectively produce around 1,600 tonnes of vegetables annually," he added.
Freeing up more space for commercial farming is one of SFA's strategies to achieve Singapore's goal of being able to meet 30 per cent of its nutritional needs with locally produced food by 2030.
SFA said that it would continue to work with HDB to tender out more rooftop sites at multi-storey car parks for urban farming in the fourth quarter of 2020.
In a Facebook post on Wednesday, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu said that the challenges of COVID-19 and climate change, together with other trade and environmental pressures, "pose a threat to Singapore's supply of critical resources such as food".
And as land here is scarce, SFA has been "unlocking alternative spaces to grow food".
"To mitigate the risks of disruption to our food supply, we set a '30 by 30' goal last year. By 2030, we aim to meet 30 per cent of our nutritional needs with locally produced food. This will spur the growth of our agri-food industry and generate new and upgraded jobs for our people.
"As land is scarce in Singapore, SFA has been unlocking alternative spaces to grow food, such as vacant buildings and carpark rooftops, and we will be tendering out more of such spaces," said Ms Fu.
"Over the next few years, we will be master-planning the larger Lim Chu Kang area and will be engaging the stakeholders and the public in the process. In the longer term, we will expand agriculture in the Lim Chu Kang area and aquaculture off our southern coast," she added.