The city-state currently produces only about 10 percent of its food needs but has plans to increase that as climate change and population growth threaten global food supplies.
Illustrative image (Photo: https://www.straitstimes.com/)
Restrictions on population movement because of the COVID-19 outbreak around the world are wreaking havoc on farming and food supply chains and raising concern of widespread shortages and price increases.
Authorities said in a statement that the current COVID-19 situation underscores the importance of local food production, as part of Singapore's strategies to ensure food security. Local food production mitigates Singapore’s reliance on imports, and provides buffer in the event of food supply disruptions.
Farmers and the government have been seeking ways to overcome the shortage of land in Singapore, where only 1 percent of its 724 sq km is devoted to agriculture and production costs are higher than the rest of Southeast Asia.
In response to the outbreak, authorities aim to speed up local production over the next six months to two years.
This includes providing a 30 million SGD (21 million USD) grant to support production of eggs, leafy vegetables, and fish in the shortest time possible, and identifying alternative farming spaces, such as industrial areas and vacant sites.
As part of the project, Singapore's food agency will launch a tender for rooftop farms on public housing car parks for urban farming starting next month./.