Fresh fish, farmed in Singapore

Local fish farms ensure produce gets to you faster
Kimberly Lim The New Paper 15 Dec 16;

There are many benefits when you switch to local produce.

It will be fresh as the delivery time between local farms and your supermarket is shorter. And there's also the comfort of knowing where your food comes from.

On top of that, buying homegrown produce also means supporting our local economy.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) works with local farms, such as Rong-Yao Fisheries and Tiberias Harvest, to promote and raise consumers' awareness of locally farmed fish.

"Not many people can tell the difference between locally farmed fish and other fish," said Mr Alawn Koh, the business development manager of Rong-Yao Fisheries.

"From January, our fish will be tagged with a label featuring our brand and the Love Homegrown Produce logo from the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority, so that shoppers can easily identify locally farmed fish.

"The fish will be sold at NTUC FairPrice outlets."

Rong-Yao Fisheries is one of four fish farms here awarded the AVA Good Aquaculture Practice for fish farming certification in 2014. The certification ensures that Singapore is aligned with international guidelines for safe and quality food fish production.

Rong-Yao adopts an online fish farm management system that measures almost everything about the fish, such as the number of fish inside each cage, the amount of feed and the type and size of fish feed."

Mr Koh said: "We also use technology to maintain proper records and traceability.

"Singapore relies heavily on imported food. It is important for us to have food resilience and we believe in the vision of AVA's food resilience programme."

The farm grows fish species like pompano, sea bass, hybrid grouper and saline tilapia.

Mr Koh said: "We started in the business of supplying fresh fruit and vegetables to the food service sector in Singapore and later got into aquaculture.

"We were interested to explore the concept of farm to plate."

Tiberias Harvest delivers fish to your doorstep just hours after it is harvested.

Owner Raymond Sng said: "All of our fish are sold directly from the farm to the customer.

"Besides catering to restaurants, we have an online shop (sampancatch.com) for home consumers. We want our fish to get to the customer fresh, without loss of quality.

"We are very particular about this."

The family-owned farm operates efficiently with a tiny workforce because of its modular structure, constructed with floating high-density polyethylene cubes.

The modular design, he said, also made it easy to re-configure the structure and increase the farm's capacity as needed. It also means less effort is needed to maintain the farm.

He added: "A large part of our farm's daily energy needs comes from solar power. This reduces repair time and servicing significantly compared to using a conventional generator. It is also environmentally friendly.

"We are thankful to AVA for co-funding our farm structures and solar power system."

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