Updated: 08/26/2014 01:33

New policies for farms and landscape nurseries

New policies for farms and landscape nurseries

Local farmers will get a leg up with a new $63 million Agriculture Productivity Fund. 

Of this, $53 million will be channeled towards basic capability upgrading and productivity enhancement; the rest will go towards research and development. 

The fund is administered by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority. 

Minister of State for National Development, Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman, announced this when he visited Sky Greens Farm, Singapore's first vertical farm. 

He also unveiled other policies for the farming and landscape sector aimed at boosting productivity. 

One major change is a new tenure model for farm sites and landscaping nurseries. 

The lease for new farm sites will be halved to 10 years, renewable for another 10. 

Landscape nurseries will be subjected to a new three-year lease, renewable for another two three-year terms. 

Ganting of new farm sites and lease renewal will be based on two criteria. 

Farms and landscape nurseries have to use at least 90 per cent of their land for production. 

And secondly, they have to meet minimum production levels. 

Landscape nurseries will also have to be registered under the National Parks Board's Landscape Company Register and Nursery Accreditation Scheme. 

Dr Maliki says that AVA and NParks will work closely with farms and nurseries to build capabilities, and use more technology to reduce manpower demand and optimise land use.

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