Wednesday, 23 September 2020

Singapore strengthening food security with R&D

19 August 2020 | News

The current Covid-19 situation has brought the issue of food security into sharper focus

Image credit- a-star.edu

Image credit- a-star.edu

Singapore has set its sights on producing 30 per cent of the country's nutritional needs locally by 2030. Research and development in sustainable urban food production, future foods, and food safety and innovation will be key to achieving that goal.

Having to import more than 90 per cent of its food for its population of almost six million, land-scarce Singapore is subjected to the volatilities of the global food market, including export bans and disruptions to transport routes.

The current Covid-19 situation has brought the issue of food security into sharper focus.

Amid working hard to ensure our food supply continuity as countries shut down their borders, Singapore has also set its sights on raising its local food production over the next 10 years.

The “30 by 30” goal — to produce 30 per cent of Singapore’s nutritional needs locally by 2030 — aims to increase the cultivation of vegetables and boost the production of protein sources to strengthen the resilience of Singapore’s food supply, up from less than 10 per cent today.

This is driven by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA), which consolidates oversight of Singapore’s food safety and food security.

To help achieve the "30 by 30" goal, $144 million of research funding has been made available under the Singapore Food Story R&D Programme, led by SFA and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). This will enable R&D in sustainable urban food production, future foods, and food safety science and innovation.

To further strengthen Singapore’s food security, SFA has also established a $30 million “30x30 Express” grant to support local farmers to ramp up local production of eggs, vegetables and fish over the next six to 24 months.

Where Singapore lacks in space, it makes up for in research and development (R&D), innovation and technology.

Working closely with other agencies including SFA and complementing work from institutes of higher learning, A*STAR recently established the Singapore Institute of Food and Biotechnology Innovation (SIFBI) to bring its food science research under one roof and create a synergistic platform to build on collaborations and better facilitate economic value capture for Singapore’s food ecosystem.

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