Fish farms off Lim Chu Kang
Fish farms along the Johor Strait. Many have closed in the past year. Image: Eco-Business/ Liang Lei.

In numbers: Singapore’s uphill push to raise food production volume

Local food production has stayed at under a third of where Singapore wants it to be. Support measures have returned mixed success, as Eco-Business finds out in a special report on local food production in the city-state.

The Singapore Food Agency (SFA) keeps a close eye on three types of food for domestic production, based on local diet norms and production viability – chicken eggs, seafood and leafy vegetables.

SG food production graph

Data: Singapore Food Agency’s annual food statistics reports.

Egg production is doing well, even as the country’s fourth farm faces delays in its opening, with almost 32 per cent of consumption met locally in 2023. But vegetable and seafood numbers continue to drop from already low bases, to 3.2 per cent and 7.3 per cent.

In absolute figures, egg production rose 12 per cent year-on-year following farm upgrades. Vegetable and seafood production dropped 15 and 8 per cent respectively, from Covid-19 delays, economic headwinds, as well as higher energy and manpower costs, SFA said in its latest tally published last week.

Beyond the overall 30 per cent goal, there are no targets for individual food sectors. However, local food production has remained under 10 per cent, with the rest met with food imports globally.

Since the “30x30” production goal was announced in 2019, the number of farms have risen sharply, mainly from new vegetable and land-based seafood facilities. But since 2021, the numbers have gradually fallen – lately caused by a drop in sea farms.

Support measures have returned mixed success. In 2020, the Singapore Food Agency launched a “30x30 Express” grant to help local growers speed up new developments amid the Covid-19 pandemic. Eight farms – seven vegetable and one egg facility – were provided almost S$40 million (US$30 million) to ramp up production capacity with a deadline of just under two years.

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