Growing food in the heartlands: SFA launches tender for rooftop farming sites at HDB car parks
SINGAPORE: People living in Housing and Development Board (HDB) estates from Tampines to Sembawang will soon be able to watch food growing on their doorstep, after the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) launched tenders for nine urban farming sites on Tuesday (May 12).
Located on the rooftops of HDB multi-storey car parks, the sites for rent will be used to farm vegetables and other food crops, as well as for activities like packing and storing produce, said SFA and HDB in a joint news release.
Two cluster sites will be tendered out, one at Sembawang and another at Jurong West.
Consisting of two plots each, these cluster sites will enable production at scale, allowing farmers to enjoy cost savings, said SFA and HDB.
A further five sites – in Choa Chu Kang, Tampines, Hougang, Ang Mo Kio and Toa Payoh – will be offered as single sites.
These individual sites will provide opportunities to “testbed innovative ideas”, said SFA and HDB.
Those interested can submit their proposals via the online Government procurement platform GeBiz before the tender closes at 4pm on Jun 9.
“Proposals will be assessed on their bid price, production output, design and site layout, as well as (their) business/marketing plan,” said the authorities.
The move to find alternative farming space in land-constrained Singapore is part of SFA’s strategy to meet the country’s goal of producing 30 per cent of its nutritional needs locally by 2030, said the two bodies.
It is also in line with HDB’s efforts to intensify greening on estates, they added.
Tuesday’s launch followed last year’s pilot opening of a multi-storey car park rooftop farm in Ang Mo Kio, which sparked growing interest from the industry and the public towards urban farming, said Mr Melvin Chow, senior director of SFA’s food supply resilience division.
“Residents in the area have been able to enjoy fresh produce from the farm at nearby supermarkets, and can witness first-hand the hard work involved in bringing our food from farm-to-fork,” he said.
“We hope that consumers will continue to show their appreciation for our local farms by buying their produce.”
SFA and HDB are looking into opening more urban farms on car park rooftops, with additional public tenders to be launched in the second half of 2020.
More details will be released at a later date, said the authorities.
Last month, a S$30 million grant was announced for the agri-food industry to speed up the production of commonly consumed food items like eggs, vegetables and fish.
It was aimed at further strengthening Singapore's food security, with the COVID-19 pandemic underscoring the importance of local food production, said authorities.