Page 17 - Agri 2020_24Dec
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 SINGAPORE AGRI-FOOD BUSINESS DIRECTORY 2020/2021
  Singapore’s second food basket is to grow local. Under the 30 by 30 vision, its aim is to increase local production to 30 percent by 2030 from under 10 percent at present. Given its constraints of land, water and manpower, Singapore would have to draw on its strengths in technology and research to improve productivity as well as insulate its production from the vagaries of the weather.
Even as it supports local production, the SFA is also continuing to nurture its third food basket – producing food overseas. Working with Enterprise Singapore, the agency supports companies as they venture overseas to produce food without some of Singapore’s limitations. Not only does it allow companies to access new and bigger overseas markets, it also helps them to lower their production cost through economies of scale, enabling them to sell more cheaply to Singapore.
Barramundi Asia is a fine example of SFA’s thrust. Having established a firm foothold in Singapore with farms off Pulau Semakau and
Raffles Lighthouse with combined production of 6,000 tonnes of barramundi, also known as Asian sea bass, the company has embarked on a major expansion plan in Brunei. Costing S$300 million, the project involves the construction of a 6,613-hectare offshore fish farm at the Nankivell Offshore Aquaculture Site and a 25-hectare processing centre in Meragang, which will also have a hatchery and nursery.
At the signing of the Sea License Agreement and Lease Agreement between Brunei’s Department of Fisheries and Barramundi Asia (B) Sdn Bhd on May 2, 2019, Group Managing Director of Commonwealth Capital and a member of Barramundi Asia’s Board of Directors Andrew Kwan told the media, “Brunei checks all of these boxes plus the Brunei government has been very supportive of the initiative.”
The farm will be developed in phases. With the conclusion of phase one by 2024, the company is expected to produce 4,000 tonnes of barramundi. By 2032, when its fully operational, its capacity will multiply to 36,000 tonnes,
generating an estimated S$324 million for the company. Most of its production is expected to be exported.
Said Mr Kwan, “With the world’s population expected to increase to nine billion by 2030, demand for protein will increase. By specialising in sea bass early on, the company hopes to position itself as the world’s biggest supplier of the Barramundi, which is widely consumed in Southeast Asia.”
With dwindling fish stocks in South east Asia, the primary source of fish supply for Singapore, due to over-fishing and poaching, the increased production from Barramundi Asia will be a welcome addition to Singapore’s food supply.
By acting proactively and developing all three baskets while there is still ample food supply worldwide, the SFA is helping to ensure that Singapore remains resilient against possible food shocks caused by climate change.
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