Page 17 - Agri 2019_11Sept
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“Safeguarding Singapore’s food supply is increasingly challenging due to the complexities of global food supply chains as well as the impacts of climate change,” said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulki i. “We are already seeing the effects of climate change, such as plankton blooms from warmer sea waters and increasingly erratic rainfall patterns. The formation of the SFA is timely as Singapore aims to turn our food challenges into strategic advantages. The SFA will work closely with industry and R&D partners to develop new solutions and products, and seize global opportunities in the food industry. Doing this will help make our food supply future- ready and provide good jobs for Singaporeans in the food industry.”
Boosting Singapore’s Food Security
With population growth, explosive expansion of the middle class and climate change, concern over food security is high on the agenda of many countries. A small nation with little arable land, this issue is even more critical for Singapore. But by developing three national food baskets – diversi cation of food import sources, internationalisation and local production – Singapore has been to ensure ample supply of food for the growing demand of its population.
In the latest survey by the Economist Intelligence Unit, Singapore came up tops in the international global index for food security,
with Ireland in second place, and Britain and the United States in joint third. In total, 113 countries were assessed on four categories – affordability, availability, quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience.
Singapore’s strength is in its affordability. A high income country with low tariff on agriculture imports – the lowest of the countries surveyed – safe and nutritious food is accessible to citizens at affordable prices.
However, Singapore’s high dependence on imports for over 90% of its food has made it vulnerable to natural resource risks and climate change.
An AVA spokesman told The Straits Times that Singapore’s food security is vulnerable to global driving forces and trends, such as population growth, rising urbanisation and incomes, climate change, disease outbreaks and scarcity of resources. “These trends are intensifying, and their interplay is heightening food security challenges more than ever.”
When these risks are taken into account, Singapore’s position in the index drops to the16th position.
Domestic Production Provides Buffer
To build resilience, Singapore is redoubling efforts to help farmers adopt technology and new-age farming techniques to ensure that local farms are as productive as they can possibly be. While local produce accounts for less than 10% of the nation’s needs, it serves as a buffer to forestall supply disruption.
Financially, the government is enhancing the existing Agriculture Productivity Fund to make it easier for farmers to employ technology,
Photo Courtesy of Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore

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