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From left: Mr Khaw Boon Wan (Minister for National Development) and Ms Tan Poh Hong (AVA CEO) receiving Mr Graziano da Silva in Singapore (FAO DG).

Food Security: Singapore's
Success Stories

Food security, or the resilient supply of safe and nutritious food at affordable prices, is a global challenge. For Singapore, the precariousness is especially acute since almost all of our food comes from overseas.

Despite the odds, AVA has managed to sustain food security for the nation, with sound policies and effective strategies that continue to garner international recognition.

IACE: Singapore’s Food Safety and Bio-security Standards are World-class

The International Advisory Committee of Experts (IACE) concluded its sixth review of AVA’s food safety and bio-security programmes in August 2014. In the opinion of the IACE, AVA remains a trusted and well-respected organisation both in Singapore and internationally with food safety and bio-security standards that are of a world-class level.

Dr Gardner Murray, Chairman of the IACE, said: “The IACE recognises that there are major international challenges which pose risks to food safety, and human and animal health. These risks, including the risks of food fraud, are increasing and the AVA will have to accommodate to these new challenges. Based on past experiences, it is more than capable of doing so.”

Food Security Index: Singapore Ranks 5th Globally

In addition, Singapore’s ranking on the Global Food Security Index (GFSI) climbed from the 16th position in 2013 to fifth in 2014. We are also the only Asian country among the top 10 nations listed.

Overall 2014 GFSI Ranking - Top 10 Countries Overall 2014 GFSI Ranking - Top 10 Countries

The GFSI, published yearly by the Economic Intelligence Unit, covers 109 countries around the world and measures three key areas of availability, affordability, as well as quality and safety of food. The improvement in our GFSI ranking was mostly due to (a) stability in our local production, (b) sufficiency of supply, and (c) having a nutrition plan in place.

Minister for National Development, Mr Khaw Boon Wan, wrote in his blog: “Moving up 11 notches on the GFSI for a tiny city state without much agricultural land is no mean feat. Although we import over 90 percent of our food, we support some local production to play a useful complementary role. AVA launched a $63 million Agriculture Productivity Fund to help our local farmers boost yields and raise productivity. Our ambition is for our local farms to, over time, transform into high-tech and progressive ones.” (Read more about the Agriculture Productivity Fund)

FAO: "The world can learn from Singapore's success stories"

Some of Singapore’s farms, such as Sky Greens and Swee Chioh Fishery, have already been using technology to maximise productivity and efficient land-use.

The Director-General (DG) of Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, Mr Graziano da Silva, in his inaugural official visited to Singapore on 4-6 September 2014, also toured these two farms. After learning the advanced technologies used there, he commented: “The world can learn from Singapore’s success stories. Singapore has made efforts particularly, to maximise productivity from very limited land resources. Commercial indoor and rooftop vegetable farms are opening and other urban and peri-urban agricultural initiatives are taking shape.”

Since becoming a member of FAO in June 2013, Singapore and FAO have engaged in dialogues on opportunities for cooperation, so as to advance food safety and security for Singapore and the region. During Mr da Silva’s visit, Singapore and FAO also affirmed their intent to collaborate on joint projects to boost food security and food safety in Singapore and the region, such as vertical farming in a land-scarce urban environment, and the attachment of Singapore expertise to FAO.