Call for more diversification and increased food production in Singapore
Singapore must diversify its food sources and raise local food production, “to buffer against the uncertainty of overseas sources” where it imports most of its food from, says senior minister of state for national development and home affairs, Desmond Lee.
Speaking at the inaugural Institution of Aquaculture Singapore Conference, Lee said: “For example, every now and then, Malaysia, which provides around a quarter of our fish supply, bans the export of certain fish for various reasons. So it is always good to have at least some level of self-sufficiency in certain food items.”
There are plans to raise the number of locally produced fish from eight to 15%.
To do so, Lee said the aquaculture industry needs to leverage in innovation and technology to boost productivity in fish farms. By doing so, farmers and their produce can also be better protected from environmental risks such as the plankton bloom that wiped out 600 tonnes of fish in local waters in March this year.
The incident has prompted Temasek Polytechnic’s School of Applied Science and the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) to come up with workshops to help farmers develop contingency plans against another possible plankton bloom.
The conference will also touch on other issues impacting the aquaculture industry – the fastest growing food production sector in the world.