Singapore jumps from 16th to fifth on global food security ranking

SINGAPORE - Singapore moved up 11 notches to rank fifth in a world ranking of countries' food security, National Development Minister Khaw Boon Wan highlighted in a blog post on Tuesday.

Mr Khaw said that Singapore has been tracking its progress on theĀ annual Global Food Security Index (GFSI) score, which ranks 109 countries based on their availability, affordability and quality and safety of food. Last year, Singapore ranked 16th.

"Moving up 11 notches on the GFSI for a tiny city state without much agricultural land is no mean feat," Mr Khaw wrote.

He added that Singapore's challenges are especially acute as we are inevitably highly reliant on food imports. "But challenges can be addressed with sound policies and practical strategies. Despite our handicap, we can still ensure that food is available, safe, nutritious and affordable for all," he said.

Mr Khaw further noted that the improvement in Singapore's GFSI ranking was mostly due to stability in the country's local production, sufficiency of supply and having a nutrition plan in place.

Although Singapore imports over 90 per cent of its food, the Government supports some local production "to play a useful complementary role". Last month, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) launched a $63 million Agriculture Productivity Fund to help Singapore local farmers boost yields and raise productivity.

"Our ambition is for our local farms to, over time, transform into a high tech and progressive one," Mr Khaw said.

Mr Khaw added that Singapore also scored well in the new indicator for food loss.

"Our programmes and R&D projects to reduce food losses in the early stages of food production, which include post-harvest handling techniques, cold chain management, and conversion of food manufacturing waste, have been notable. Meanwhile, we must press on with reducing general food wastage among consumers," he said.

yamadak@sph.com.sg