SINGAPORE - Minister for National Development Khaw Boon Wan met with Mr José Graziano da Silva, Director-General of the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations, uring his inaugural official visit to Singapore.
This is Mr Graziano da Silva's first visit to Singapore in his official capacity, since Singapore became a member of FAO in June 2013. Since joining, Singapore and FAO have engaged in dialogue on opportunities for cooperation, to advance food safety and security for Singapore and the region.
During his visit, Mr Graziano da Silva called on Mr Khaw and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority. Dr Maliki bin Osman, Minister of State for National Development and Defence also hosted Mr Graziano da Silva to lunch.
In addition, Mr Graziano da Silva visited progressive local farms such as Sky Greens and Swee Chioh Fishery, which make use of technology to maximise productivity and land efficiency.
Mr Graziano da Silva also visited a hawker centre, where the National Environment Agency shared with him Singapore's approach to ensuring the availability of affordable dining options in a clean and hygienic environment.
During the visit, Singapore affirmed intent to collaborate with FAO 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.
Mr Graziano da Silva said: "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."
Minister Khaw also said: "Food safety and security have become a major concern as urbanisation intensifies and global warming worsens. We have some experience in this area and in recent years have also developed some expertise in urban and vertical farming. Singapore welcomes the opportunity to partner with FAO and learn from fellow FAO members on best practices in this field."