Singapore: Urban farms to help increase food supply

Singapore: Urban farms to help increase food supply

Singapore announced new measures to accelerate local food production, including a plan to turn car park rooftops in public housing estates into urban farms.

The densely populated city-state produces only about 10% of its food needs but has plans to increase that as environmental changes and population growth threaten global food supplies.

Around the world, restrictions on population movement because of the coronavirus outbreak wreaked havoc on farming and food supply chains and raised concern of widespread shortages and price increases.

“Local food production mitigates our reliance on imports and provides buffer in the event of food supply disruptions,” authorities said in a statement.

Authorities have repeatedly assured locals that the city-state has sufficient food supplies amid bouts of panic buying that gripped the island during the outbreak.

Farmers and the government have been looking at ways to overcome the shortage of land in Singapore, where only 1% of its 724 square kilometers is devoted to agriculture, and production costs are higher than the rest of Southeast Asia.

Authorities aim to speed up local food production by providing a U.S. $21 million 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.  Reuters