In 2012, a new road named Seletar West Road was constructed as a quick access to the Seletar Aerospace Park, cutting through a network of farm roads and splitting Seletar West Farmway 4 and 6.
Four years later, the rightmost parts of Seletar West Farmway 4 and 6, which were home to the former Jalan Kayu Rural Centre (also known as the Seletar Flats), have been redeveloped as part of the expansion plan of Fernvale housing estate. At their opposite side, it looks like development and urbanisation, too, will soon be entering into this quiet rustic area.
The forgotten fish farm, located at the western end of Seletar West Farmway 4, will be closing on 15 November 2016. It is the only fish farm left at Seletar West Farmway 4; its neighbour, the Summer Koi Farm, has already shifted to Lorong Chencharu, off Sembawang Road, in 2012. For the time being, the other fish farms in the vicinity are concentrated at Seletar West Farmway 1, 2 and 3.
The Seletar West Farmway 4 fish farm is managed by three brothers of the Bai family, who have spent most of their life rearing and breeding ornamental fish such as guppies, rams, angel fish and cichlids. The brothers, in their 60s now, had set up their first fish farm at Sembawang almost forty years ago, before relocating to Tampines, Pasir Ris and Seletar West.
The bucolic nature of the fish farm is a reminder of Singapore’s olden days, when large parcels of farms once occupied much of the island’s northern regions such as Sembawang, Punggol and Kangkar. The Seletar West Farmways remained relatively undisturbed until the early 2000s, when the expansion of Sengkang New Town, and later the establishment of the aerospace park, saw development inching towards them. It is only a matter of time before this vicinity becomes urbanised.
Elsewhere, the fish farms at Pasir Ris Farmway and the vegetable and poultry farms at Lim Chu Kang will also be affected in the next couple of years. Their lands are expected to make way for the development of light industries and Singapore Armed Forces’ (SAF) training grounds by 2017 and 2019 respectively.
Published: 14 November 2016
3 months later, vanished without a trace, except for the letterbox…
Meanwhile, at Bah Soon Pah Road where there are also many farms (plants and fish)… one of the oldest ones has closed last year
Saying goodbye to a family farm after 60 years
31 March 2021
The Straits Times
In the final days of family-run Oh Chin Huat Hydroponics Farms, there was lots to do.
From wrapping up the last harvests to dismantling large structures and equipment, it was a race against time to prepare the 2.4ha farm – known as Oh Farms for short – for its closure on June 30 last year.
We Were Farmers is a two-part documentary on the last days of the farm, put together by local production house birdmandog and told from the perspective of award-winning photographer and fourth-generation farmer Ore Huiying.
“We work so closely together, naturally there will be increased conflict,” said Ms Ore, 39, who grew up on the farm in Yishun. For the past 12 years, she has been documenting life on the farm through photographs.
Her aunties and uncles had been working 12-hour shifts every day, she said.
“Now that the farm is closing down, it’s actually helping the situation between family members because now everybody has a common goal, just like when the farm first started.”
Her family decided to shut down the legacy farm located along Bah Soon Pah Road, as relocation costs were too much to bear.
They had over 200 greenhouses growing more than 15 types of vegetables and herbs, including chye sim, wild rocket and butterhead lettuce.
“To me the farm is a happy place,” said Ms Ore. “It holds a lot of special memories… I think it’s also a big part of my identity as well.”
Ms Ore currently works as a freelance photographer for publications including The New York Times, Bloomberg and National Geographic.
The documentary is commissioned by Singapore Press Holdings in partnership with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) under IMDA’s Public Service Content Fund, to support Singapore’s media industry during the Covid-19 pandemic.