Understanding Food Security in Singapore

A table full of Singapore's favourite food

Despite being a small, resource-scarce country, Singapore can sure hold her own when it comes to tackling food security. Singapore was crowned the world’s most food-secure nation according to the 2019 Global Food Security Index. Food security is achieved when all people have full access to sufficient, safe, and nutritious foods that meet their food preferences and dietary needs for an active and healthy life. Unfortunately, the pandemic brought a multitude of disruptions to global food security.

Fortunately, Singapore came well-prepared. Despite importing more than 90 per cent of its food supply, Singapore overcame disruptions such as export bans and changes in transport routes. With that, let us introduce the 3 key strategies employed by the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) to achieve food security.

Diversifying Food Import Sources

Singapore Food Agency's Three Baskets:Diversifying food import sources, growing local and growing overseas
Singapore did an impressive job diversifying its food sources, importing food from over 170 countries and regions. In doing so, Singapore actively deters disruptions from any single food supply source, ensuring the stability of our food supply. Moreover, Singapore’s diverse food supply proved beneficial during the pandemic, allowing Singapore to mitigate disruptions to the global food supply scene. 

Growing Local

Prevent and reduce food wastage at source (4)

Singapore is currently expanding our local food production to ensure food security beyond our extensive network of global food suppliers. In line with Singapore’s 30 by 30 plan, Singapore plans to have our local produce meet 30 per cent of Singapore’s nutritional needs by 2030. Albeit ambitious, this shift in Singapore’s food landscape will help create a more sustainable and stable food supply as we decrease our reliance on food imports.

Growing Overseas

Singapore has also taken to helping local food production companies expand their operations overseas before exporting produce back to Singapore in light of the shortage of land and manpower. Additionally, the relocation of our food production allows Singapore to overcome our scarcity of resources and venture into new and more significant markets.

However, as we talk about food security, we mustn’t overlook food insecurity in Singapore.

Hands holding an empty bowl
According to a study by Singapore Management University’s (SMU) Lien Centre for Social Innovation, 10 per cent of Singaporeans have experienced food insecurity at least once a year, with close to half of those Singaporeans experiencing food insecurity at least once a month. The pandemic further exacerbated this due to heightened economic instability and increased food prices. Hence, it is crucial that we work towards alleviating food insecurity amidst our quest to enhance food security.

Furthermore, while the strategies are commendable, they function on a governmental level, leaving Singaporeans unsure of what they can do to help ensure food security in Singapore. But not to worry, we got you covered.

Keep your eyes peeled for our next blog post! In the meantime, do follow our Instagram page for more bite-sized information and lifestyle hacks to be more sustainable!

Leave a Comment