Singapore’s First Super-Intensive Smart Farm

Singapore’s First Super-Intensive Smart Farm

Blue Aqua International, has been sold land in Lim Chu Kang for the farming of fish for human consumption, in a move to boost yield from the shrinking supply of farmland in Singapore.

Last year, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) said it would put out to tender 36 plots of farmland on 20-year leases in Lim Chu Kang and Sungei Tengah.

They will help fill the gap when the leases of 62 farms in Lim Chu Kang run out by end-2021 and the land is given over to military use.

While the new plots, which add up to 60ha of land, will not close the gap completely, the authorities hope the use of high-technology farming will boost productivity and yield.

The AVA, in announcing the award of the tender for three land parcels yesterday, said the two companies’ proposals included productive and innovative farming systems such as multi-storey facilities with automated fish pumps and advanced water treatment processes.

The tender, which was launched on Oct 31 last year and closed on Jan 9, is the second tranche of AVA’s tenders for new agriculture land.

The new sites for food fish farming were awarded under a fixed-price tender system.

This means that instead of competing on price, the tenders were evaluated on such factors as production capacity, track record and whether the companies can harness innovation to improve and sustain production.

Blue Aqua was sold a plot of 15,575 sq m at the fixed sale price of $378,000.

Dr Farshad Shishehchian, chief executive of Blue Aqua International group, which has 14 companies around the world, said the new farm, its first fish farm in Singapore, will rear tilapia, pompano and grouper.

Using its patented super-intensive farming system, MixotrophicTM, the company, which also has a shrimp farm in Lim Chu Kang, hopes to produce about 600 tonnes of fish and 200 tonnes of shrimp a year.

AVA’s food supply resilience group director Melvin Chow said the farming technologies proposed by the companies have the potential to raise the agricultural sector’s productivity and reduce its reliance on labour.

“Over time, this will strengthen our local farming ecosystem and spur transformation to bolster Singapore’s food security,” he added.

Local farms produce about 10 per cent of Singapore’s fish supply, and the AVA aims to raise this to 15 per cent, with new technologies increasing the productivity of fish farming systems by at least three times, said its spokesman.