Singapore Food Story – The 3 Food Baskets


Singapore currently imports more than 90% of our food from more than 170 countries and regions. Import source diversification is our core strategy. This has worked well for us thus far. Singapore was ranked number 1 in the world in the Global Food Security Index for the second year running in 2019 – the result of our long-term planning and proactive actions to safeguard Singapore’s food supply.

However, we are vulnerable to emerging trends. First, with population growth, global demand for food is projected to increase by 50% come 2050. Second, climate change will put more pressure on global food supply through rising temperatures, loss of arable land, and increased frequencies of erratic weather patterns. Third, countries increasingly look inward, prioritising their needs over international trade.

To strengthen Singapore’s food security, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) is pursuing three broad strategies called the 3 Food Baskets:

1.Diversify import sources to reduce risk of reliance on any single food supply source

2.Grow local to provide buffer supply in event of overseas supply disruptions

3.Grow overseas to help local companies expand abroad and export food back



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Grow Local

Raising Local Production with the 30 by 30 Goal

Although import source diversification has served us well, COVID-19 underscores the importance of local production, which provides a buffer supply in the event our import sources are disrupted. In 2019, Min(EWR) announced SFA’s ambitious goal to produce 30% of our nutritional needs locally by 2030, up from less than 10% currently. The ‘30by30’ goal, to be met within our land constraints of less than 1% of it is designated for agricultural use.

We are not starting from scratch. In 2019, our local farms contributed to the following key food production of our total food consumption:


Annual Production

Local Production as % of consumption




Hen shell eggs

528 million pieces






4,700 tonnes





Leafy vegetables

12,700 tonnes






1.Production figures for hen shell eggs are rounded to nearest million pieces while fish and leafy vegetables are rounded to nearest hundreds.



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Grow More with Less, Sustainably

To achieve ‘30 by 30’ within such tight land constraints, SFA will work with our agri-food industry to transform into one that is highly productive and employs climate-resilient, resource- efficient and sustainable technologies. Technology is the key enabler to help farms to ‘grow more with less’.

For example, indoor multi-storey LED lighting vegetable farms and indoor multi-storey Recirculating Aquaculture Systems can produce 10 to 15 times more vegetables and fish per hectare than traditional vegetable and land-based fish farms, respectively. Besides being highly productive, such farming technologies have the important additional advantage of being resilient against climate change.

Allocating land and sea space to facilitate farms to scale-up production

To expand local food production, since 2017, SFA has been tendering agricultural land to agri- food companies who compete based on technology, productivity and track record. We are also looking to plan and redevelop the larger Lim Chu Kang area, taking into consideration feedback from farmers for centralised facilities and services to reduce the cost of food production.

SFA is also looking into tapping on the deeper Southern Waters of Singapore to boost local fish production. We have launched a tender for a one-year study of potential Southern Waters sites, which will allow us to assess the potential environmental impact of farming activities in the area. We are also engaging nature groups on raising local fish production while mitigating the impact on the marine environment.

SFA has been looking to unlock more alternative spaces locally, such as vacant interim State properties and rooftops. In 2019, we successfully launched a pilot project to carry out commercial urban farming on the rooftop of a HDB multi-storey carpark. On 12 May 2020, SFA launched a tender for 9 of 16 rooftop sites on HDB Multi-Storey Car Parks across the island for urban rooftop farming. Moving forward, SFA will work with agencies to launch more MSCP rooftop sites in the second half of 2020.

Commercial urban farms have the added advantage of bringing agriculture closer to Singaporeans and attunes them to SFA’s efforts to ensure food security. Singaporeans can engage in individual and community farming of edibles at these farms. Apart from being directly involved in food production, they will be able to appreciate the process and hard work behind bringing food from ‘farm to fork’.



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Funding Support for Local Farms

SFA provides strong support to the industry to adopt such innovative farming technologies and engage in R&D. An example of this is our $63 million Agriculture Productivity Fund (APF), which co-funds high tech, productive farming systems with better environmental control and to boost production capabilities and capacity. As of end March, $38 million has been committed from the APF to support 110 farms. The APF can also co-fund R&D and test-bedding of technologies.

As of end last year, APF-supported farms have cumulatively produced:

About 1,631 tonnes of leafy vegetables, accounting for about 13% of local production in 2019

More than 528 tonnes of food fish, accounting for about 11% of local production in 2019

Over 46 million pieces of hen shell eggs, accounting for about 9% of local production in 2019

Grow Overseas strategy

SFA’s ‘Grow Overseas’ strategy helps us build strategic relations with key partners and is also a way for our companies to export urban food solutions developed in Singapore.

SFA will continue to support our companies to expand and grow overseas so that their produce can be exported back home, contributing to our food security. By venturing overseas, companies can overcome land and manpower constraints and access new and bigger markets. They are then able to reap economies of scale and can also export food back to Singapore. Some local farms have already ventured into Australia (Barramundi Asia), Brunei (Apollo Aquaculture, Barramundi Asia), Hong Kong (Sustenir), and Thailand and China (Sky Greens).

SFA will continue to work closely with other government agencies such as ESG to help our local food industry internationalise.



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Diversify Import Sources

Diversification of Import Sources

Singapore’s key strategy to enhance its food security is import source diversification. We have diversified our food import sources from about 140 countries in 2004 to over 170 countries and regions in 2019. SFA works closely with industry stakeholders, especially our importers, to diversify, as well as with overseas government authorities to open up more sources that we can import from. This allows our importers to ramp up imports from other sources when there are supply disruptions.

SFA strives to increase the number of farms and establishments across different countries which can export to Singapore. We take feedback from our food importers and prioritise the accreditation of farms/establishments where it is commercially and logistically viable to do so. Importers are also alerted to new accredited sources. SFA accredited a total of 83 new farms and establishments in Year 2019.

As 70% of our eggs comes from a single source, SFA introduced a licensing requirement for egg importers to adopt Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) in April 2019. This helps our egg supply be more robust, and mitigates potential impact of food supply disruptions. To support this, SFA has been actively accrediting new egg sources across different countries that meet our food safety standards. The number of approved countries and farms for eggs has increased by over 50 percent from 47 farms in 7 countries in 2016, to 72 farms in 11 countries in 2019.

Working with our Industry Players to Facilitate Imports

Our food importers are a key node in the supply chain, and we must ensure that they are prepared to withstand potential shocks from supply disruptions. SFA works closely with food importers to adopt business continuity plans (BCPs), including preventive strategies, to mitigate the impact of food supply disruptions. We engage consultants to impart useful skills to our food importers and provide assistance in developing and adopting BCPs for their businesses. In April 2019, SFA introduced a licensing requirement for egg importers. Egg importers must adopt Business Continuity Plans (BCPs) to mitigate any potential impact of food supply disruptions.

SFA also organises food sourcing trips, together with Enterprise Singapore, to help industry players find alternative import sources. These trips enable importers to explore new sources, open business opportunities, and strengthen existing trade ties.

We actively engage our industry stakeholders (trade associations, key supermarket retailers, embassies and trade offices) who are crucial to our source diversification efforts. Through industry dialogues, senior management meetings and 1-to-1 business meetings, SFA shares information and seeks feedback on matters concerning the industry. We actively introduce relevant overseas business contacts to local industry players and organise business matching/networking sessions with foreign delegations.



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