National University of Singapore
Food supply of a country is essential, because it concerns the livelihood of the citizens and it is the basis of the development of the country. Singapore, as a country of 639km2 land area with around 5 million residents and limited amount of natural resources, almost relies on imported food from Malaysia, China, Thailand and other countries. For example, in 2010, 169 211 tonnes of chicken, 103 368 tonnes of pork 489 638 tonnes of vegetables are imported, and the quantities of food imported are increasing every year (AVA, 2012). The excessive reliance on imported food may have potential threat to Singapore. In 2011, Singapore had to cease the import of vegetables and seafood from Japan in case of possible radiation caused by the massive earthquake. Other catastrophes like plagues, flood and pollution may also affect the food supply. Therefore, our research is focused on feasible ways to reduce Singapore’s reliance on imported food and the possibility for Singapore to be independent on food supply in 10 to 20 years.
Research was conducted online about the imported food statistics and regulations on food importing of Singapore to see the reliance of Singapore on food importing from other countries. Meanwhile, investigation was done on advanced farming technology that is effective and requires fewer lands, which is suitable for Singapore. In order to investigate the citizens’ opinion on imported food and the possibility to be independent on food supply, a questionnaire was distributed to people in food court and supermarket and 94 of them were compiled. The questionnaire was designed to explore Singaporeans’ concern on the source of food and their support on locally- produced food. Moreover, the questionnaire was set to figure out Singaporeans’ criteria in choosing food and the critical requirements for Singapore to be independent on food supply. However, the sample size is relatively small comparing to the whole population of Singapore, so the validity of the survey might be affected.
Food Import in Singapore
According to Agri-food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)’s statistic, in the past 10 years, Singapore’s annually expenses on food like chicken, pork, beef and hen eggs have surprisingly increased by nearly 100% while expenses on other food categories like duck, mutton, fish, vegetables and fruits have moderately increased as well. On the other hand, as the per capita consumptions of the food nearly keep the same, around 25% extra imported food is to be re-exported to neighboring countries (AVA, 2012). The main food import sources of Singapore in 2009 are claimed to be U.S.A., Malaysia and China while China is thought to become the largest food source in the near future despite Malaysia is the nearest partner country (Chang, A., 2010). The more important other countries become for Singapore’s food supply, the more Singapore has to pay. Considering the facts above, now Singapore is highly reliant on imported food and has to pay much for it, becoming a food independent country seems to be improbable for Singapore.
Facts about Locally-Produced Food in Singapore
Currently, locally-produced food supplies 23 percent of eggs, 4 percent of fish and 15 percent of leafy vegetables of the country’s total demand (Chay, 2011). Locally-produced food can enhance food safety (Han, 2010). In urban area, such as Kranji, there are local farms that are able to produce eggs and dairy product. While...