Master Plan Exercise to Transform Lim Chu Kang into a High-Tech Agri-Food Cluster
Master planning public infrastructure and building shared facilities to uplift the agrifood sector, boost food production and create good green jobs for Singaporeans
The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) will be embarking on a holistic exercise to master plan the Lim Chu Kang (LCK) area to create a high-tech, highly productive and resource-efficient agri-food cluster. The master plan, spanning about 390ha of land, will be undertaken in consultation with stakeholders and completed over the next two to three years. Development works are expected to commence in 2024 and will be carried out in phases.
Ensuring Food Security
2 Food security is existential for Singapore. We currently import more than 90% of our food supply, which makes us vulnerable to disruptions in global supply chains. The ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic has underscored the importance of ensuring that we have diversified sources and resilient food supply chains.
3 To safeguard Singapore’s food security amidst challenges such as climate change and global resource and supply shocks, we had announced plans in 2019 to ramp up the local production of food. By 2030, we aim to meet 30% of our nutritional needs with locally produced food ― up from less than 10% today. This ’30 by 30’ goal will ensure we have a buffer supply of safe and fresh food, especially eggs, fish and
leafy vegetables, should our food imports get disrupted.
Optimising Land Use
4 Given Singapore’s land scarcity and many competing needs, about 1% of land is set aside for agriculture use. While we will continue to identify alternative spaces to produce food, such as the rooftops of HDB multi-storey car parks, we will need to optimise and intensify our agriculture land to grow more with less. The redevelopment of agriculture land in LCK allows us to uplift the local agri-food sector, and develop sustainable, highly productive and industry-leading farms of the future. This will strengthen our food security and create good, green jobs for Singaporeans.
5 As part of our master plan exercise, SFA will look into the development of shared facilities to lower costs of production and resource use, as well as put in place water, electricity and transport infrastructure to support high-tech farming systems and attract a new generation of agri-tech skilled workers. This is in response to feedback from the industry and will address pain points that the industry has raised in the past, and provide farms with the necessary infrastructure and support to scale up and boost production. We will also explore how we can conserve the use of resources and minimise waste by adopting circular economy principles. While agri-food production
will be the key focus of the master plan exercise, we will consider how best to incorporate and support relevant elements, such as farmers’ markets and education
6 Currently, an average vegetable farm in Singapore occupies around 2 hectares of land and produces about 130 tonnes/ha/year. In contrast, a high-tech, high productivity vegetable farm has the potential to produce over 1,000 tonnes/ha/year with less than one hectare of land. We envision that the redeveloped LCK agri-food cluster will produce more than three times its current food production. This will contribute substantially to the ’30 by 30’ goal, and efforts to ensure food security for Singaporeans.
7 All farms currently in the LCK area will be able to stay to the end of their leases. 10 food farms and 13 non-food farms, whose leases are expiring between 2020 and 2022, will be offered a short tenancy extension, after which the land will be
redeveloped in line with the master plan. 1 food farm and 2 non-food farm whose leases are expiring between 2026 and 2027 will be allowed to continue until their leases expire. SFA and the National Parks Board (NParks) will work closely with these farms to support their transition plans.
A Consultative Process
8 The master plan does not encroach into the Sungei Buloh Nature Park Network which includes Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve and Kranji Marshes. To better understand the ecosystem of flora and fauna in the area, SFA will be conducting an environmental study in end-2020 and will work with nature groups on this. The study is expected to be completed in mid-2021 and findings will be taken into consideration as part of our master plan exercise.
9 “We aim to create a vibrant and attractive agri-food cluster where global bestin-class agri-food companies, the next generation of agri-tech workers, and visitors will be excited to work in and visit. To do so, SFA will work with farmers and other stakeholders to co-create an exciting vision for Lim Chu Kang,” said Mr Lim Kok Thai, SFA’s Chief Executive Officer.