BY LEAPS AND BOUNDS
Jurong Frog farm manager Jackson Wan gives an insight into how it's like handling frogs
Written by: Jean Khoo
Photos by: Christian Bernard
In school, we have all learnt about tadpoles growing into adult frogs. However, how many of us have actually witnessed the natural life cycle of a frog?
Jackson Wan, a farm manager at Jurong Frog Farm (JFF), can safely say that he has. First established in 1981 by his father, Wan Bock Thiaw, the farm is currently a major supplier of frog meat in the country.
After graduating from Nanyang Technological University in Applied Physics last year, he came to work at JFF full time under the persuasion of his father and sister.
One of his many duties at the farm includes breeding frogs. “The process is quite simple – we just have to make sure the water is clean and the water level is suitable for the frogs or the tadpoles,” the 26 year old said. “We have the workers who will select a few frogs, the more healthier frogs, and put them together into the mating pen.”
Frog breeding is not a critical process at all. Frog breeding only contributes 20 percent to the farm while the other 80 percent consists of imported frogs. Furthermore, occasionally, after the frogs have mated, the eggs could not even be found and recovered.
Despite this, frog breeding is still being practised in the farm.
The sad truth about frogs is that they are often regarded as disgusting little creatures. Green and slimy, these amphibians are simply not considered pleasant enough to be loved and adored by us.
So it does comes as a surprise that there is an existing frog farm in Singapore, which not many of us are aware of, that showcases its 15,000 frogs (and counting!) proudly to its visitors.
However, when asked about Singaporeans’ low interest in frogs, Jackson was quick to disagree. Citing the farm’s large number of visitors and customers, he felt that Singaporeans are just not “aware that the farm is here”.
Nestled deep within Kranji Countryside, JFF is one of the few working farms that could be found there. There’s not much exposure given to the farms in that area, resulting in the lack of awareness of these farms among Singaporeans.
“We face the challenges that other SMEs are facing. One of it is the manpower, we have high levy for the foreign workers. Because we are dealing with livestock, so the death of the livestock is also a challenge to us,” Jackson revealed. “The greatest concern for us now is the land lease, because the land will be reclaimed for the army use. So with the expiring land lease, this will actually stop other long-term investments.”