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  Today Online 12 Oct 07
Rustic havens in Sungei Tengah

Business Times 12 Oct 07
SLA selling four agricultural sites

Straits Times 12 Oct 07
Farm plots in Sungei Tengah up for tender
Part of land can be used for shops, restaurants or chalets
By Lim Wei Chean & Jessica Cheam

Channel NewsAsia 11 Oct 07
SLA tendering out four sites at Sungei Tengah for agricultural use


SINGAPORE : More land is being released for agricultural use, with four sites at Sungei Tengah being placed for tender on 20-year leases.

While set aside mainly for agricultural use, they can be tapped for commercial purposes too.

The total size of the four sites at Sungei Tengah up for tender is about 96,000 square metres, equivalent to 11 football fields.

The biggest site has an area of about three hectares while the smallest is about two hectares.

Besides traditional farming like vegetable and fish production, each site can be developed for commercial purposes, such as retail, food and beverage, as well as rustic accommodation and spa facilities.

According to the Singapore Land Authority (SLA), this will enable the farmers to purse a better business model.

Teo Jing Kok, Deputy Director, Singapore Land Authority, said, "Sometimes the market changes and the commodities prices of these fluctuate. So, if they have a commercial use, they can have an additional source of income. So, they actually diversify their operations."

The tender follows the successful sale of three similar sites at Lim Chu Kang last year.

The sites at Lim Chu Kang fetched between S$300,000 and S$500,000 each.

But SLA believes Sungei Tengah may be a different case.

Mr Teo said, "...here, because it is Sungei Tengah, which is nearer to the Choa Chu Kang New Town and also (because of) better access by Kranji Expressway, (the) likelihood is the price will be higher, but I am not too sure how much higher because there hasn't been any sales there recently."

SLA plans to release more of such land at a steady rate to meet market demand and at the same time enable the existing market to grow before facing new competition arising from new sites.

Mr Teo said, "I think the number of people who are interested in farming activities - there's still only a fixed population that's interested in such activities. But, of course we do have some entrepreneurs who will go in there and see what else they can do with the land and come up with new, exciting activities, and hopefully draw customers there and also create some avenues of making money."

SLA said there has been strong interest by investors who want to develop new farms at Sungei Tengah and existing farmers here have also expressed interest in expanding their operations.

The tender for the four sites at Sungei Tengah closes on November 15. - CNA/ms

Today Online 12 Oct 07
Rustic havens in Sungei Tengah

Sungei Tengah home to a vibrant mix of agricultural and recreational activities will soon provide more of a kampung getaway for stressed-out urbanites, with the Singapore Land Authority (SLA) inviting tenders for four 20-year lease sites to optimise the use of land in the area.

The move by the SLA will allow existing lessees to expand their farm-cum-entertainment projects at Sungei Tengah, as well as to cater to new investors seeking to develop new agri-tainment businesses.

Besides vegetable farming, ornamental plant and fish production, as well as other agricultural activities, the sites spanning a total land area of 96,031 sq m can each be developed to include commercial use at a maximum quantum of 200 sq m of gross floor area for food and beverage, and/or retail businesses, and a maximum of 300 sq m of gross floor area for rustic accommodation and/or spa facilities.

The permitted uses for the four sites include fish farming, orchid or other plant production and vegetable cultivation. The SLA's website, www.sla.gov.sg, has location maps and other site details.

The tender for the four sites will close on Nov 15. Interested developers can buy tender documents for $52.50 (inclusive of Goods and Services Tax) from the SLA at 8 Shenton Way, #26-01.

Straits Times 12 Oct 07
Farm plots in Sungei Tengah up for tender
Part of land can be used for shops, restaurants or chalets
By Lim Wei Chean & Jessica Cheam

DOWNTOWN Singapore may be buzzing with new developments, but interest is also hotting up in some agricultural land in the north-western corner, part which can house spas, restaurants or chalets.

The Singapore Land Authority (SLA) released four plots totalling 96,031sqm in Sungei Tengah on 20-year leases for public tender yesterday, the second time in three years the Government has put agricultural land up for lease.

The land can be used for fish or vegetable farming, orchid or plant production, or even to rear toads or frogs.

Up to 500sqm of the farmland, about the size of five coffee shops, can be used for other purposes such as spas, cafes, shops or even chalets and hotel rooms.

SLA deputy director of land sales Teo Jing Kok said: 'The injection of some commercial use would allow the farmers to diversify their operation and have an additional source of revenue.'

Among the interested bidders were not only existing farmers but also new entrants like electronics engineer Howey Wong.

The 33-year-old is keen to to lease a plot for the cultivation of Chinese herbs. He also intends to set up a research centre on the properties of Chinese medicine, and organise educational tours.

He said: 'But looking at land prices now, I am not sure if I can even afford it.'

Last year, three farm plots in Kranji earned the state $1.76million. An SLA spokesman said the final price exceeded even the SLA's own valuation of the land, a testimony to demand.

She added that response to these new sites is expected to be good because of Sungei Tengah's better location, near Choa Chu Kang New Town and the Kranji Expressway.

Currently, Singapore produces about 10per cent of its total food needs. The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) plans to increase local food production.

The new farms, with better technology employed in the existing 234 farms in Singapore, should be able to do this.

For example, the AVA expects to increase the level of foodfish production from the current 12.7per cent to 40per cent. For leafy vegetables, the target is to increase it from the current 5per cent to 10per cent.

The SLA spokesman added that more of such sites can be expected to be launched at a steady rate to cater to demand.

Business Times 12 Oct 07
SLA selling four agricultural sites

THE Singapore Land Authority (SLA) is selling four agricultural sites at Sungei Tengah near the Farmart Centre, Qian Hu Fish Farm and other farms.

The sites, ranging from 208,206 to 338,955 square feet, have 20-year leases and are for sale by tender. Offers close on Nov 15.

Permitted uses include orchid or ornamental plant production, fish/prawn farming, toad/frog culture, vegetable cultivation and fruit orchard.

Each site can also include a maximum 500 square metres (5,382 sq ft) of gross floor area of commercial use, comprising up to 200 sq m for food and beverage and retail and up to 300 sq m for rustic guest accommodation and/or spa facilities.

'Feedback from farmers, and our research, shows the sale of agricultural sites with a small amount of commercial use is the best business model for farmers,' said SLA's deputy director of land sales Teo Jing Kok. 'The injection of some commercial use allows farmers to diversify their operation and have an additional source of revenue.'

The sites will be awarded to the highest tenderers whose proposed use is approved.

In December last year, SLA sold three 'agritainment' sites - these have a higher commercial component of up to 1,000 sq m - at Lim Chu Kang. HLH Agri R&D was awarded the largest plot of about 548,624 sq ft for $880,000, or $1.60 per square foot (psf) of land area.

Yoli Technologies clin-ched the other two plots for $476,336 or $2.95 psf and $398,000 or $2.99 psf. The three sites were also sold with 20-year leases.

Agritainment sites can be used for a combination of agricultural and recre-ation/entertainment activities.

links
Farmers send petition to protest at storing granite in Lim Chu Kang
Channel NewsAsia 11 Oct 07

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