Singapore goes underground to ensure food security, sustainable supply


Singapore is implementing the “30 by 30” initiative to reduce reliance on imports and ensure food security amidst climate change.

With 90% of foods imported from overseas, the initiative aims to build the agri-food industry’s capability and capacity to sustainably produce 30% of Singapore’s nutritional needs by 2030.

The goal also features in the Singapore Green Plan 2030 and will help create a more resilient food future.

Some farms in Singapore are using indoor multi-storey LED lighting and recirculating aquaculture systems to produce 10 to 15 times more than traditional farms. (Photo: Singapore food agency's 30 by 30)

Under the initiative, the city-state intends to build a facility where agriculture and livestock farming can be undertaken simultaneously to address issues of insufficient land for food production.

For instance, cultivation of plants that do not require photosynthesis and livestock farming would be done underground utilizing innovations to make sure a suitable ecosystem for production.

The facility will be equipped with various technologies to help with sustainable energy consumption, such as solar panels.

The Singapore Food Agency’s website stated, “With only 1% of Singapore’s land set aside for farming given the many competing land needs, the agri-food industry will need to significantly increase its productivity in the coming years.”

Singapore’s Minister for Trade & Industry, Gan Kim Yong, mentioned that the nation produces around 50% of its fish and vegetables to meet adequate carbohydrate and protein needs. He also said that some resources are imported from other countries to ensure the resilience of the supply chain.

“The 30 by 30 is to make sure food security and sustainable sources of supply,” Gan said, “At the same time, we also stockpile critical food items to ensure that we have a regular supply chain.”

He also committed to continuing the initiative to ensure adequate resources to prepare different kinds of foods, including noodles and salads.

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