SINGAPORE — The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is establishing a $30 million grant as part of plans to support the agri-food industry in ramping up local production of eggs, leafy vegetables and fish in the shortest possible time.
The agency plans to meet 30 per cent of Singaporeans’ nutrition needs with locally-produced food by 2030, which is why it has named its overall plan “30x30 Express”.
In a joint media release with the Ministry of the Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) on Wednesday (8 April), SFA said that the current COVID-19 situation underscores the importance of local food production, as part of Singapore’s strategies to ensure food security and adapt to the long-term challenges posed by climate change.
“Local food production mitigates our reliance on imports, and provides buffer in the event of food supply disruptions,” it said in the media release.
Grant call to submit proposal to ‘grow more and grow faster’
In mid-April, SFA will be launching an open call for the $30 million “30x30 Express” grant. Local agri-food players producing the three food types – eggs, leafy vegetables and fish – cansubmit their proposals to “grow more and grow faster”. These food items are commonly consumed in Singapore, and which Singapore already has capabilities to produce locally.
The grant call will enable the Government to crowdsource and support ideas from the agri-food industry to develop innovative approaches to grow food productively and sustainably. Local agri-food players will be able to tap on the grant to defray upfront costs to accelerate their farms’ expansion in production capacity within the next six to 24 months.
The grant will also provide co-funding of productivity-enhancing technology systems. It will complement SFA’s existing Agriculture Productivity Fund, which aims to help farms modernise and harness technologies and advanced farming systems, as well as co-fund test-bedding of technologies.
Currently, less than 10 per cent of Singapore’s food supply is produced locally.
Taskforce headed by Masagos Zulkifli
Government agencies will identify alternative farming spaces, such as industrial spaces and vacant sites, to facilitate the ramping up of local food production.
For instance, SFA will launch a tender for rooftop spaces on HDB Multi-Storey Car Parks for the purpose of urban farming from May this year.
A multi-agency “30x30 Express” taskforce – chaired by Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli – has been formed to drive and coordinate inter-agency efforts.
The other members are Indranee Rajah (Second Minister for Finance and Education), Dr Amy Khor (Senior Minister of State for Health, and the Environment and Water Resources), Dr Koh Poh Koon (Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry) and Zaqy Mohamad (Minister of State for National Development and Manpower).
“The new 30x30 Express initiative is expected to push the envelope for local farming capacity, and accelerate our efforts to reach our 30x30 goal,” Masagos said in the media release.
“It is important that these efforts are augmented by the support of consumers. Demand from consumers will spur our farmers to become more productive, and allow them to reap the benefits of economies of scale. This in turn will bolster our food security, and create good jobs for our people.”
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