Campaign to urge Singaporeans to eat local produce starts next year
Singapore-farmed fish, eggs and vegetables could appear on more menus and in shopping carts here next year as a campaign to encourage Singaporeans to grow and eat local produce kicks off.
"Next year, my ministry will launch a campaign on the Singapore Food Story to encourage Singaporeans to grow and eat local produce," said Minister for the Environment and Water Resources Masagos Zulkifli, who highlighted the importance of the agricultural sector to buffer Singapore against global food supply shocks.
Climate change and the die-off of bees over the use of commercial fertilisers could result in food-producing countries no longer having enough to sell for export.
This would spell bad news for import-dependent countries like Singapore, said Mr Masagos at the Asian Scientist Writing Prize Award Ceremony held at the Science Centre Singapore.
"We will either have to contend with higher prices, or face a food shortage. Therefore, it is important for Singapore to strengthen our food security - through food source diversification, growing local and growing overseas."
Currently, Singapore produces less than 10 per cent of its food, but the Government target is for one-third of the Republic's food needs be local-grown by 2030.
Mr Masagos said: "To do so, we will need to push the frontiers of (science and technology) to develop high-tech, climate-resilient and resource-efficient farms."
Professor William Chen, the Michael Fam Chair Professor in Food Science and Technology at Nanyang Technological University, said there were multiple benefits to eating food grown locally. As the time from farm to table is shorter, produce may be fresher, he said. Certain items such as fruits may also be more nutritious when harvested ripe.