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New farm plots with 20-year leases set aside for high-tech farming

SINGAPORE — New plots of farm land with 20-year leases have been set aside to promote productive and high-tech farming, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Tuesday (May 9).

One way to enhance food security to grow food locally, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong. TODAY file photo

One way to enhance food security to grow food locally, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong. TODAY file photo

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SINGAPORE — New plots of farm land with 20-year leases have been set aside to promote productive and high-tech farming, said National Development Minister Lawrence Wong on Tuesday (May 9).

Details of the farm land tenders will be released soon by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA).

In a blogpost, Mr Wong said the lease extension from the current 10-year period is made following farmers’ feedback that they needed a longer period to recover investments for new technologies.

Even as Singapore’s economy evolves and society becomes more urbanised, he said a modern agriculture sector will continue to play a key role in Singapore’s future.

Besides diversifying Singapore’s food sources by setting up high-tech joint venture farms overseas, growing food locally is another way to enhance food security.

“Our farms are an important source of vegetables, eggs and fish. Local production provides a buffer against overseas food supply disruptions,” he added.

But given the limited space here, taking the high-tech route with new farming technologies is the way to go. Doing so will “significantly boost” the Republic’s food production levels, providing not only locally-grown food but also helping farmers scale up their businesses.

Hence, the assessment of proposals for the new farm plots will place greater emphasis on quality and productivity considerations, he said.

In the meantime, he added the Government will do more to help farmers adopt the new technologies.

Examples include homegrown vegetable farm Yili, which has reduced harvest loss and better yield by using taller growing houses and semi-automated curtain systems for better ventilation and temperature control.

Productivity of workers have also gone up as they can now continue to work even in hot weather as the growing houses are installed with curved plastic roofs to protect against outdoor elements.

Mr Wong said: “We hope both existing and new farmers will participate, and work with us on this journey to transform our farms.”

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