SFA also announced that the S$60 million Agri-Food Cluster Transformation fund, which supports local farmers in their efforts to expand production capability, will be enhanced to offer a higher co-funding quantum for a wider range of food types commonly consumed by the population. This will include more types of vegetables, mushrooms and shrimp.
LEASES FOR COASTAL FISH FARMS
Currently, coastal fish farms have to apply and renew their SFA-fish culture farm licence annually, but do not have to pay for the use of sea space.
As part of the transition to leases, existing coastal fish farms will see temporary occupation licences being introduced from Jan 1 next year.
Under the temporary occupation licence scheme, those in the Straits of Johor and Southern Waters will have to pay S$3,600 and S$6,000 per half hectare respectively.
The temporary occupation licence amount will be phased in over four years, starting with 20 per cent in the first two years and 50 per cent in the third year, before reaching the full amount in 2026.
However, in line with the Government’s commitment to not increase fees and charges for the year, SFA said the amount will be waived for 2023.
SFA also said it has reviewed the fish farm licence fees to ensure that it remains relevant and to minimise compliance costs for the industry.
From Jan 1 next year, most sea-based farmers will see a “substantial” reduction in their annual licence fees to S$145 per licence. It is currently S$850 per half hectare.
New farm applications and farms with major changes to their farming activities will be subjected to a one-off assessment fee, said SFA.