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New S$30m grant to help local farmers ramp up food production in next 6 to 24 months

SINGAPORE — As Covid-19 places a spotlight on the issue of food security, a new S$30 million grant is being launched to help local farmers ramp up their food production over the next six to 24 months.

The Singapore Food Agency's 30x30 Express grant, which will be available from mid-April, specifically aims to support the agri-food industry in ramping up local production in eggs, leafy vegetables and fish — food which is commonly consumed in Singapore — in the shortest possible time.

The Singapore Food Agency's 30x30 Express grant, which will be available from mid-April, specifically aims to support the agri-food industry in ramping up local production in eggs, leafy vegetables and fish — food which is commonly consumed in Singapore — in the shortest possible time.

SINGAPORE — As Covid-19 places a spotlight on the issue of food security, a new S$30 million grant is being launched to help local farmers increase their food production over the next six to 24 months.

The Singapore Food Agency's (SFA) 30x30 Express grant, which will be available from mid-April, specifically aims to support the agri-food industry in ramping up local production in eggs, leafy vegetables and fish — food which is commonly consumed in Singapore — in the shortest possible time, the agency said on Wednesday (April 8).

The grant is being launched as the current Covid-19 situation underscores the importance of local food production as part of Singapore’s strategies to ensure food security, SFA said. 

“To adapt to the long-term challenges posed by climate change, Singapore is planning to meet 30 per cent of our nutritional needs with food produced locally by 2030, or in short ‘30x30’,” the agency said.

“Local food production mitigates our reliance on imports and provides a buffer in the event of food supply disruptions. To further strengthen food security, the SFA will launch our plans for ‘30x30 Express’ to accelerate the ramping up of local food production over the next six to 24 months.”

Farmers can tap the grant to help defray the upfront costs of accelerating the expansion of their farms’ production capacity within the next six to 24 months. 

The grant, which will complement SFA’s existing Agriculture Productivity Fund (APF), will also provide co-funding of productivity-enhancing technology systems. 

The SFA said that besides boosting Singapore’s capabilities to produce food locally, the grant could potentially create more jobs for Singaporeans in the agri-food industry, and help small and medium-sized enterprises.

Aside from providing funding for farmers, the SFA said that Government agencies are looking to identify alternative farming spaces, such as industrial spaces and vacant sites, which can be used to increase local food production.

The SFA said that it will launch a tender of rooftop spaces on Housing and Development Board multi-storey car parks for the purpose of rooftop urban farming next month.  

Food security has become a hot topic of discussion amid the Covid-19 pandemic, which has triggered bouts of panic buying among Singaporean shoppers.  

Government leaders have repeatedly reassured Singaporeans that there is enough food, due to the country’s diverse food supplies and stockpile. 

However, they have also acknowledged a need to increase Singapore’s local food production to lessen the reliance on food imports. 

The 30x30 vision is a plan that was first unveiled last year by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources.

Mr Masagos will be heading a new multi-agency taskforce to drive and coordinate inter-agency efforts to meet this vision.

“Our three strategies of diversifying food imports, growing locally and growing overseas have served us well in ensuring Singapore’s food security, even during times of supply disruption,” said Mr Masagos in SFA’s statement. 

“The new 30x30 Express initiative is expected to push the envelope for local farming capacity and accelerate our efforts to reach our 30x30 goal.”

Related topics

SFA Covid-19 food security farming coronavirus

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