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by raising the co-funding cap from S$700,000 to S$2 million for food farms that produce eggs,  sh, leafy vegetables and bean sprouts.
As Senior Minister of State for National Development Koh Poh Koon told Parliament in March 2018, “Many farmers have told us that they are happy to adopt more productive technology. However, new farming systems require heavy capital investments. Advanced greenhouse systems with environmental controls and automation, which can double production, can cost around S$4 million.”
Technology-sourcing trips have been organised to allow farmers to learn best practices from other countries while technology-matching sessions link farmers with solution providers and technology developers. For instance, during a technology-sourcing trip to Norway, local aquaculture farmers were introduced to advanced automated  sh-feeding systems and net cleaners.
As not all systems are suitable for local farms, neither can the systems be adopted wholesale, the Agriculture Productivity Fund has a new test-bedding component which co-funds food farms up to S$500,000 to test-bed new solutions prior to large-scale deployment.
Change in Awarding of Tenders
In keeping with this new thrust, the AVA has altered the way it is awarding tenders – not on the basis of price but on concept proposals, with a focus on productivity gains.
In February 2018, 10 vegetable farming land parcels in Lim Chu Kang, measuring two hectares each, were awarded to eight companies. The winning proposals featured greenhouses with
automation and smart controls, multi-tier hydroponic systems using LED lights and data analytics to optimise growing conditions, and multi-storey farms that use automated soil-less cultivation system and robotics.
Meod, which won tender for three plots, plans to grow only leafy greens using its proprietary hydroponics system, which features modular plant beds that can be stacked to heights of three to four metres. It aims to produce about 500 to 550 kg a day using a science-based approach, where everything is tracked, including the temperature, humidity and light within the greenhouses, as well as the rate of growth of seedlings and crops using different methods.
“We have to look at how to implement large and tangible improvements in harvest and yield with the help of technology, while still keeping
(Scores are upon 100)
2. Ireland 85.5
3. United States 85.0
6. Australia 83.7
8. Finland 83.3
10. France 82.9 Source: Economist Intelligence Unit
1. Singapore
3. United Kingdom
5. Netherlands
7. Switzerland
9. Canada
Photo Courtesy of Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore

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