food security issues in singapore

Globally, Singapore ranks 4th as most food-secure nation on the Global Food Security Index. What should people be concerned about when it comes to food security in Singapore? Thus, food security and rising prosperity goes hand in hand. Food insecurity is associated with poverty, ignorance and stagnant economic growth. In maintaining food security, it is important to ensure that everyone in As such, Singapore has strived to import from as many sources as possible. With some 5.6 million people in an area three-fifths the size of New York City - and with the population estimated to grow to 6.9 million by 2030 - land is at a premium in Singapore. In a world that has become increasingly interconnected and chaotic, with more displaced persons since World War II, and with an array of humanitarian disasters that has outstripped the international community’s budgets and capacity to respond, why should global food security remain an imperative development priority? Mr Eric Ng, chief executive of Apollo Aquaculture, said his firm is able to take advantage of lower costs by locating part of its operations in Brunei through a joint venture with the Brunei government. But nations heavily dependent on food imports saw their rankings decline significantly. Singapore has planned for food supply disruptions for years, putting in place a comprehensive strategy after the food crisis of 2007 and 2008, which saw the global prices of food shoot up dramatically due to trade shocks, rising oil prices and food stocks diverted to produce biofuels. Most households, for example, currently spend a relatively small portion of their incomes on food and thus have a “buffering capacity” should prices surge in response to supply declines. Self-sufficiency means a country is able to produce its own food and stand on its own feet, and is practised by larger countries such as Indonesia and the Philippines. This, he said, is the most “ambitious” leg of the Government’s three-basket strategy. Can it be done? In March last year, Mr Masagos said that by 2030, Singapore aims to provide 30 per cent of its nutritional needs with homegrown produce, using less than 1 per cent of its land area. But Feb 7 and Mar 17 were not like most days, recalled Miss Toh Yingying, 24, business manager of Yili Vegetation and Trading. "These trends are intensifying, and their interplay is heightening food security challenges more than ever." Relative poverty, more apparent in developed nations, regions … Progress towards the 2030 target, however, will need some time as farmers work out the kinks, since the use of technology is not the panacea, said Miss Toh of Yili Vegetation. When the impact of climate change and depletion of natural resources are included, “all countries suffered a drop in their overall scores, highlighting the vulnerability of global food systems against threats such as drought, flood and rising sea levels,” Corteva said. “This applies not just to eggs but other food products and essential items. In Singapore, we are particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in global food supply and prices, as we import more than 90 per cent of our food. SINGAPORE — As a result of climate change and rising population, the world is set to face a 56 per cent shortfall in food nutrition by 2050. In recent weeks, in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, images of empty supermarket shelves here have turned the spotlight on the island’s food security — an esoteric concept for many but one that has worried authorities and academics for decades. As a country that imports over 90 percent of our food supply, Singapore is vulnerable to fluctuations in food supply and prices, structural supply-demand imbalances as well as food safety incidences overseas. Singapore could also drastically ramp up its local food production, Prof Teng added. But the reality is that getting Singapore consumers to change their dietary preferences or to pay for higher priced, but more sustainable foods, is a tricky affair. Several of them, including major food-exporting countries to Singapore, are experiencing what looks to be an exponential growth of new confirmed cases. In dealing with food security, the Singapore story is germane. The yield of her three-hectare farm, which uses soil-grown and greenhouse methods, is limited by the space to grow Asian leafy vegetables such as kangkong and spinach. “Scarce resources of land, water and labour can be better deployed to activities which have higher economic value than farming,” he said. The smart thing to do is to pick countries that regularly show a large surplus over domestic consumption for the food concerned, said Prof Teng. Self-reliance, on the other hand, means the country imports food but also relies on some level of domestic food production, said Prof Teng, a food security expert who has been studying the topic for more than three decades. Both seek to be fully self-sufficient in rice production, for example. READ:  Commentary: Clean meat - the next big thing in Singapore’s push towards agriculture? This has enormous implications for the intensity of production. Her upcoming six-hectare farm in Lim Chu Kang — Yili had won the tender from SFA — will have to employ high-tech techniques to nearly triple the farm’s current yield. Food security, however, is a constant work in progress for Singapore. The report identifies three key gaps in service provision that can influence food insecurity in Singapore: A lack of nutritious and quality food The inefficient targeting of food-insecure households A difficulty in addressing root causes of food insecurity Food security, therefore, remains a pressing concern in Asia. Singapore tops rankings for second straight year, but climate change looms large. READ: Commentary: Eating less meat could help the environment and our health – so what’s stopping us? 3 Dependency ratio often includes elderly people as dependent. They are then able to reap economies of scale and can also export food back to Singapore,” said the SFA spokesman. This is Singapore’s “Achilles’ heel”, warned Prof Teng. That is why, when some Singaporeans started buying up food (in February), and photos of empty supermarket shelves were circulated, we were able to say with full confidence that there is enough food for everyone. Thus when a global food crisis occurs, the risks of jostling over limited food resources can be reduced. The main one is that food crops are a lot harder to plant and maintain compared with oil palm. The fund paid for 70 per cent of the equipment cost. After all, Singapore is supposed to be a food paradise where no one can possibly starve, with stocks so abundant that food waste is regarded as a societal problem, said Mr Veera Sekaran, one of the directors of indoor vertical farming firm VertiVegies. Singapore's Richest. This could put unprecedented pressure on Singapore’s food security, said experts. The Republic currently imports more than 90 per cent of the food it consumes. singapore: singapore management university, lien centre for social innovation. This Independent Evaluation Working Paper examines the causes and consequences of the recent escalation and volatility of world food prices, and the implications for Asia and for the Asian Development Bank (ADB). 2015. a handbook on inequality, poverty and unmet social needs in singapore. The unexpected visitors went home empty-handed. ... heightened restrictions and food safety issues as well as dramatic changes in share and oil prices are all factors that could lead to food inflation. Most of what constitutes food security in the country depends on the agricultural sector; therefore, challenges faced by Filipino farmers and fishermen often have a detrimental effect on food security … Yet, as the country imports more than 90 per cent of its food, its food security is susceptible to climate-change and natural resource risks, the EIU noted. “It was a call from Prime Minister Lee to the Malaysian government that guaranteed that goods will continue to flow during the lockdown,” he noted. Copyright© Mediacorp 2020. Singapore’s adroit diplomacy does not hurt either. While Singapore was down 11 places, the United Arab Emirates fell nine spots and the Philippines eight, according to the release. As we usher in the new year following an eventful 2019, TODAY takes a look at what to expect in several key areas affecting Singaporeans' lives: Economy, property, environment, politics and transport. The spokesman added: While the average price of our local produce may be higher, we want to educate our consumers why they should select local produce. Farming is not rocket science, and there is land on rooftops, underneath expressways that all can be converted for this purpose,” said Mr Sekaran. Local produce is safe, fresher, lasts longer, and there is less spoilage and food waste, as the produce does not need to travel for long periods of time before reaching the consumer. The new law and other legislative amendments will require importers of key food items to mitigate the impact of potential food supply disruptions. However, when climate-related and natural-resource risk factors were taken into account, Singapore fell to 12th place in the 2019 index. 2. Many people rushed to supermarkets to snap up daily essentials in the two days when Singapore’s disease alert level was upped to orange, and when Malaysia was about to impose a nationwide lockdown respectively. We should take food security in Singapore no less seriously.” Read more here. But the report noted that Singapore's food security is the most susceptible to climate and natural resource risks, with the import-dependent country facing potential disruptions to its food supply… 1. meREWARDS lets you get coupon deals, and earn cashback when you complete surveys, dine, travel and shop with our partners. With the aid of the APF, Chew’s Agriculture, which is currently constructing a new farm in Neo Tiew Road, invested in a high-tech assembly line machinery that can automatically sort, grade, perform quality checks, disinfect and package freshly laid eggs, said Mr Lim. Ant Turning From Windfall to Nightmare for Global Investors, Alibaba Probe Stirs Global Worry on What’s Next for Chinese Tech, China Tells Ant to Return to Its Payment Roots, Places Curbs, Stocks Rally to Records as Investors Cheer Aid: Markets Wrap, U.K. The SFA will also address all food-related issues, from food production to food hygiene. Said Prof Teng: “Most agricultural and food economists argue in favour of this self-reliance approach… because food security at the household level is linked to GDP (gross domestic product) per capita.”. Securing the country’s food security is its core mission. “For proteins like meat, and vegetables, we use a combination of fresh, frozen and canned options to meet our demand and we have more than two months’ worth of supplies at normal consumption patterns,” he said on Mar 17, the morning after Malaysia’s sudden announcement. His land-based vertical fish farm in Lim Chu Kang produces around 2,500 tonnes of food fish each year, while his Brunei farm can produce up to 800 tonnes a year. Since April last year, egg importers have been required to provide the SFA with a viable business continuity plan — such as holding their own buffer stockpile or signing retainer contracts with suppliers — to mitigate the impact of supply disruptions, said an SFA spokesman. Securing the country’s food security is its core mission. Today, alternative proteins ... are poised to become game-changers,” said Mr Masagos in the budget debate this month. In maintaining food security, it is important to ensure that everyone in Singapore has access to safe and nutritious food at affordable prices in the short and long term. The number of hen shell eggs imported from sources other than Malaysia has increased from an average of 1.4 per cent of total imports in 2018 to 5.7 per cent of total imports in December 2019, said an SFA spokesman in response to queries. But the issue of urban farming and local produce has always revolved around commercial limitations — the price of locally grown food will always be higher than imported food due to the costs of land, manpower and raw materials here. Singapore demonstrated this resiliency again just days after Malaysia — the source of more than 90 per cent of the island’s imported eggs — announced at around 10pm on Mar 16 that it would be locking down its borders from Mar 18 to 31. “Growing food requires a lot of manpower as the turnover rate is high. Despite these limitations, food supplies are well managed. Currently, less than 10 per cent of Singapore’s food is locally grown. Food security is an issue both globally and at home in the United States. This positions the import-dependent nation ahead of major food-producing countries worldwide in the arena of food security. Singapore, Ireland and the U.S. were rated the top three in food security for a second straight year, despite new metrics this year such as food costs, infrastructure and nutritional standards. As of Friday, there were more than 240,000 confirmed cases around the world. Source: The Straits Times, 15 September 2018 Globally, Singapore ranks 4th as most food-secure nation on the Global Food Security Index. Apart from the staples based on rice and wheat, our current society has not experienced the challenges to choice, as some of our older generation did during the Second World War,” he said. It has to import 90% of the country’s total consumption from abroad. “A disruption of supplies from Malaysia is a contingency scenario we have planned for many years,” said Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on the same day. It could also work out new bilateral trade deals with countries with large export stockpiles, though this would likely come with large price spikes, he said. Singapore does not grow nor produce most of its own food because of its limited land area. Local produce will need to account for 10 per cent of the proteins and 20 per cent of the fruits and vegetables consumed by Singapore. There was no need to worry, other political leaders chimed in. “This has never happened to us before. An Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) spokesman said that climate change was one of the many interlinked threats facing Singapore's … Over the past five years, SFA has committed S$38 million from the S$63 million Agriculture Productivity Fund (APF) to support more than 100 farms in their productivity-enhancing investments, and the support will be extended through 2020 as well. Singapore’s Food Security 1. Some decided that it would be a good idea to head to Lim Chu Kang to buy fresh vegetables right from the source, even though the farms there do not typically keep a ready stock to sell to visitors. By clicking subscribe, I agree to receive news updates and promotional material from Mediacorp and Mediacorp's partners. May 20, 2016. READ: Commentary: Meat eaters think going vegan a good idea but will be unenjoyable and inconvenient, READ: Commentary: Reduce waste by redistributing food surplus to those in need, READ: Commentary: Climate action is our generation’s 1965, BOOKMARK THIS: Our comprehensive coverage of the novel coronavirus and its developments. For any nation, forming a viable food security strategy is usually a fine balancing act between self-reliance and self-sufficiency, said Professor Paul Teng, an adjunct senior fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security Studies in the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS). Food Security Issue in Singapore The panic buying caused by the pandemic has brought the issue of food supply crisis to public attention. This positions the import-dependent nation ahead of major food-producing countries worldwide in the arena of food security. 2. The Food Security Solution. READ: Commentary: Is Singapore’s decades-long shift away from agriculture about to take a U-turn? “This also means a lower carbon footprint was taken to bring the food to your tables.”. Relative poverty is Singapore poverty. Since 2017, SFA has been awarding agriculture land, through a competitive land tender basis, to agri-food companies with promising technologies. This option requires that Singapore and a . The latest bout of mass buying eventually petered out after Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong said on Mar 17 the flow of goods and cargo from Malaysia would continue during the lockdown, having received reassurances from his Malaysian counterpart, Mr Muhyiddin Yassin. “We got to figure out how to make the technology, which we think is still not yet mature, work for us. His farm currently produces around half a million eggs each day, which can be scaled up to 800,000 eggs daily in the near future. The city state ranks top of the Global Food Security Index, a gauge of more than 100 countries developed by the Economist Intelligence Unit and supported by Corteva Agriscience. Farms could also be converted to grow emergency food crops, which are quickly grown, provide essential nutritional value, take up less room, but may not be grown in “peacetime” due to commercial reasons. Details of the size of Singapore’s stockpile are usually not revealed for national security reasons as well as not to hamper negotiations with overseas suppliers. This diversification of food sources did not occur overnight, and is a culmination of years of sourcing trips and prudent procurement decisions to ensure that the nation will not starve. “Traditional meat production methods are often land and water intensive, and generate high levels of emissions. The countries of Southeast Asia have a creditable record of economic development, a significant decline in poverty and sizeable investment in human development. Manda Foo: People should be concerned about the fact that we import more than 90 per cent of our food despite producing more than 90 per cent of our food just 50 years ago, and how quickly agriculture was marginalised and nearly obliterated from national policy making and the national narrative. Before that, it had been in the top three positions of the index — which measures affordability, availability, quality and safety of food source in each country — for several years. Bringing farming closer to the people 1 This is an extension of Lien’s first report on food insecurity, which was published this year (Glendinning and Shee 2018). Rather, it shows the limits of resupplying amid the unplanned rush — a point which government leaders had alluded to during the recent episodes of mass buying. While any disruption by a single source does hurt, it is not a complete wipeout if the country has the ability to quickly top up the shortfall from other sources, said experts. According to recent data from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), approximately 14.7% of U.S. households experience low or very low food security (7). Food security, however, is a constant work in progress for Singapore. Since the start of the health crisis in China last December, the COVID-19 pandemic has gone global and spread to 177 countries. Singapore, home to some of the planet’s most affluent people, shouldn’t have to worry about going hungry -- except when you factor in the threat of climate change. Intensifying local farming is not the only way to raise production — advances in food technology raise the possibility of manufacturing novel foods, such as food substitutes and alternative proteins like Impossible Meats and Quorn. Another way is to encourage Singapore’s agricultural firms to grow food abroad and scale-up during “peacetime”, and bring the produce back to the country in times of crisis. Poised to Clear Astra Shot as Need for Vaccines Grows. With the movement of goods across the Causeway mostly unaffected, Singapore appears to have dodged a bullet. On its end, the Government has not sat idly by when it comes to local produce. "Resilience thus comes from diversity. Dr Tortajada added that these supermarket runs does not necessarily mean that food is unavailable. “Singapore, which has hardly any agriculture, has been ranked No 1 for food security. This year, SFA will be studying how the larger Lim Chu Kang agriculture area can be planned and redeveloped to enhance food production, said Mr Masagos in the debate on his ministry’s budget earlier this month. If perfected, novel food technologies could be the answer to the seeming paradox of food security: Destructive land-use practices to grow food ends up putting food security at risk. ... issue. Source: The Straits Times, 15 September 2018 Food Security Issue in Singapore The panic buying caused by the pandemic has brought the issue of food supply crisis to public attention. I told them no, but some of them insisted on plucking the vegetables (off the ground) themselves,” said Miss Toh. “Four to five families came to the farm to buy vegetables. The Singapore Food Agency has been set up to oversee food safety in Singapore, and new legislation has been proposed to ensure greater domestic food security. The pragmatic approach is to identify the critical food items which lend themselves to space-limited production, and which confer additional benefits of short “farm to consumer” cycles, said Prof Teng. “hunger in a food lover’s paradise: understanding food insecurity in singapore.” smith, catherine j., john a. donaldson, sanushka mudaliar, mumtaz md kadir, and lam keong yeoh. Note: Colors based on overall Index score. Despite the best-laid plans, a prolonged and escalating crisis, such as what the COVID-19 pandemic is shaping up to be, may still push Singapore’s diversification strategy to its limit. When it comes to that, there is another layer of defence: The national stockpiles. 2 The “Others” category is broader than that normally used in Singapore and includes more people than just Eurasians. In land-scarce Singapore, the development of urban farming became an urgent priority. Close the Yield Gap. of Singapore’s food security were revealed to be . Said Prof Ng: “They saw the need to provide essential financial assistance to alleviate hunger and food insecurity in low-income families, as well as improving diet quality and healthy living for all citizens. Back in 2018, when Malaysia said that it was considering limiting exports of eggs and some types of seafood to ensure a sufficient supply for its domestic market, Singapore began in the same month to import eggs from Ukraine. The rise in affluence in conjunction with growing populations continues to drive greater demand for more protein-rich food and better nutrition. It looks like the email address you entered is not valid. Have a confidential tip for our reporters? The sustainability advantages are critical as climate change is a serious challenge to Singapore’s food supply strategy, and is a far more profound crisis to tackle than COVID-19. “Panic shopping puts stress on any supply chains,” Dr Tortajada said. Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli said Singapore’s approach is to grow its “three food baskets” — to diversify its sources of imported food, encourage firms to grow food overseas, and expand its local produce industry. While there is a risk that the local government could block any exports of food during global food crises, Mr Ng said that is why the choice of country matters — Brunei and Singapore share strong ties and a mutual understanding of food security. The scheme requires importers of white rice, basmati rice, ponni rice and parboiled rice to pre-commit the quantity that they wish to import each month to sell in Singapore. “With COVID-19, the urgency of Singapore’s food security has suddenly cropped up again,” he said. Population growth will further increase the stress on demand for food, at the same time when crop yields are projected to decline,” Mr Masagos warned. Now that the COVID-19 pandemic, along with the economic and social upheaval that it brings, is expected to last until the end of 2020 or beyond, impacting all corners of the globe, there is a chance that Singapore’s food security strategies will be tested again, said experts. The lifespan of an oil palm tree is 25 years while that of most food crops is a few months to a few years. Singapore, Ireland and the U.S. were rated the top three in food security for a second straight year, despite new metrics this year such as food costs, infrastructure and nutritional standards. “We are very willing to ramp up production provided the market can absorb it.”. There is no risk of us running short of essential food and household items. It also showed food prices are rising worldwide, with Venezuela and Syria seeing the sharpest increases. In Singapore, we are particularly vulnerable to fluctuations in global food supply and prices, as we import more than 90 per cent of our food. This is where the Ministry of Trade and Industry, which operates the Rice Stockpile Scheme, comes in. “All around the world, we see erratic weather, changes in crop growth patterns, water shortages, and other natural and human-related disasters, sometimes all happening close to and one after another. sound, the food crisis illustrated the vulnerability . However, given how many elderly in Singapore remain economically active – and … the flow of goods and cargo from Malaysia would continue, READ: Singapore has months' worth of stockpiles, planned for disruption of supply from Malaysia for years - Chan Chun Sing, READ: Purchase limits imposed at FairPrice supermarkets on vegetables, rice, paper and other products, The Big Read: Panic buying grabbed the headlines, but a quiet resilience is seeing Singaporeans through COVID-19 outbreak, READ: Commentary: Singaporeans queued for toilet paper and instant noodles – there is no shame in that, Commentary: COVID-19 emphasises the importance of Singapore’s free trade agreements, READ: Commentary: COVID-19 could redefine Singapore’s place in the global economy, Explore our interactive: All the COVID-19 cases in Singapore and the clusters and links between them, READ: ‘Sufficient flexibility and buffer’ in Singapore’s capacity to care for COVID-19 patients: Gan Kim Yong, READ: Singapore, New Zealand committed to maintaining open supply chains amid COVID-19 situation. In land-scarce Singapore, the development of urban farming became an urgent priority. We should take food security in Singapore no less seriously.” Read more here. This article discusses food policies in Singapore in a framework of self-reliance, security, and resilience. On Mar 19, Mr Chan posted pictures of a “special cargo” of more than 300,000 eggs arriving at Changi Airport by air freight. READ: Commentary: Add more plants, and less meat to your meals. Around a quarter were deficient in zinc, vital for a functioning metabolism and immune system. But diversification is not just about putting many eggs in many baskets. Few months to a few years remains a pressing concern in Asia and the MEWR been... And maintain compared with oil palm tree is 25 years while that of most crops... Than just Eurasians maintain compared with oil palm health crisis in China last December, the urgency Singapore. 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