#TIL (Oct 16) World Food Day
📷: Screenshot of Singapore Food Agency’s video on PM Lee’s LinkedIn page: https://go.gov.sg/pmleelinkedinpostonsgfoodfuture
#TIL that the United Nation’s annual World Food Day (Oct 16) commemorates the formation of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation in 1945. It reminds us that even today, millions of people around the world are still suffering from hunger and malnutrition, and calls for sustainable food production. The theme for World Food Day 2022 is “leave no one behind”.
The UN defines food security as “the physical, social and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food that meets their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.” Today, the problem of global food insecurity and malnutrition are increasingly compounded by climate change, COVID-19 pandemic, the Russia-Ukraine conflict, and rising inflation.
Singapore has planned for food security since our independence. In the early days, we stockpiled rice, grew our own vegetables and reared our own poultry and pigs, and achieved food self-sufficiency by the 1980s. Over time, due to competing demands for limited land space, we relied more on food imports to meet rising food needs. By the mid-2000s, rising volatility in food prices prompted us to rethink our food strategy. We import our food from diversified sources.
Our food security strategy was further refined in 2020 when we started to experience supply chain disruptions during the pandemic. Our government’s national stockpile of essential items was expanded to include other essential food, such as infant milk powder and noodles. It also adopts a “three food baskets” strategy: diversify our food import sources, grow locally, and help local firms grow food overseas to bring back to Singapore when needed. While less than 10 percent of Singapore’s food is grown here currently, the government has embarked on a plan for our agri-food industry to produce locally 30 percent of our nutritional needs and sustainably by 2030.
Despite being a small country, Singapore hopes to be able to contribute to global food security and nutrition through collaborations on capacity building and contributing to the setting up of international food safety standards. Quoting a representative from the Singapore Food Agency, “our aspiration is that food production in Singapore can feed not just the next generation of Singaporeans, but also contribute to urban food solutions for the world, strengthening the world’s food baskets.”
Quote taken from Food Supply Chain Resilience During and Beyond the Pandemic in PSD’s Challenge Magazine posted on 6 July 2022. https://www.psd.gov.sg/…/food-supply-chain-resilience…
Learn about Singapore’s Food Future here: https://go.gov.sg/pmleelinkedinpostonsgfoodfuture