The disruption of global supply chains by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted Singapore, a country heavily dependent on imports of fruit and vegetable products, to announce new measures to accelerate local food production, including the establishment of urban gardens on roofs and terraces.
The densely populated Asian city-state produces only around 10% of its food needs but has plans to increase production, as climate change and population growth threaten global food supplies.
"The current COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of local food production, as part of Singapore's strategies to ensure food security," authorities stated. "Local food production mitigates our dependence on imports and provides a buffer in the event of interruptions in the food supply."
To do this, farmers and the government have been looking for ways to overcome the land shortage in Singapore, where only 1% of its 724 square kilometers (280 square miles) is dedicated to agriculture and production costs are higher than in the rest of Southeast Asia. In addition to identifying alternative agricultural spaces, such as industrial areas and vacant spaces, the Singapore food agency will launch a tender for rooftop gardens in public housing parking lots for urban agriculture starting next month, stated the authorities.
Authorities aim to accelerate local production in the next six months to two years in response to the global health crisis.
Source: Reuters / agritotal.com