| Staff Reporter, Singapore

Size doesn't matter: Singapore can still play key role in food security, says Minister Khaw

It is poised to become a “living lab” for food tech.

Amidst challenges pose by climate change on Asean countries, Coordinating Minister for Infrastructure and Minister for Transport Khaw Boon Wan urged member states to continue producing safe, high-quality food for the region's growing population.

Despite being a small agricultural economy, Singapore, he said, can still take part to achieve the goal by sharing its technology and R&D.

The statement was made during the opening ceremony of the 38th Meeting of the Asean Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) yesterday at Marina Mandarin hotel.

Here's more from Minister Kwan:

Our region’s food security will depend heavily on each country’s ability to become more productive, resilient, and sustainable in food production. This will become increasingly challenging in the face of many uncertainties, such as climate change.

While there are challenges, there are exciting new opportunities too. New technologies and innovations enable us to re-think how current agricultural practices can transform and become more resilient.

A modern and technologically savvy farm sector is also key to attracting a new generation of agricultural professionals.

These “agri-specialists” will write the next chapter in global and regional food security efforts. Singapore is moving in this direction and developing our strategies for local farm transformation.

Even though the agriculture sector is small in Singapore, we can contribute and play our part in food security.

The Singapore Government has been developing policies and support to help our local agriculture sector transform to be highly productive and resilient. We have been engaging and working with our agriculture industry on this.

We envision our farms of the future to be high-tech, innovative, highly intensive and productive, able to do more, with less. As an urbanised state, Singapore promotes the development of urban farming solutions and progressive farming technologies.

There is potential for us to be a “living lab” for new food production technologies.

Beyond production, we are also actively looking at the use of technology and R&D throughout the agricultural value chain. For instance, we have been developing indoor vertical vegetable production systems for Asian leafy greens that are potentially five times more productive than conventional farming systems.

To reduce food loss and waste, we are also test-bedding novel food packaging. We will be happy to share our experiences and contribute at this AMAF platform.

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