Parliamentary Question on 30 by 30 - Masagos Zulkifli
Written reply by Mr Masagos Zulkifli, Minister for the Environment and Water Resources, to Parliamentary Question on 30 by 30, on 4 June 2020
Mr Seah Kian Peng: To ask the Minister for Environment and Water Resources whether there are plans to review the “30 by 30 vision” to locally produce 30% of Singapore’s nutritional needs by 2030.
1 When we started working on our “30 by 30” goal in 2018, our primary intention was to adapt to the challenges posed by climate change and resource scarcity. Last year, my Ministry announced our “30 by 30” goal, to produce 30 per cent of our nutritional needs locally by 2030. It complements our other strategies of diversifying import sources, growing overseas and stockpiling, to ensure the resilience of Singapore’s food supply. This goal is ambitious, considering that we currently produce less than 10 per cent of our requirements, and we must achieve this goal with less than one per cent of our land.
2 In February this year, my Ministry launched the 2020: Singapore Food Story, a year-long campaign to raise awareness on Singapore’s food security. As events would have it, the COVID-19 outbreak escalated quickly, impacting countries, big and small, all over the world. This pandemic has disrupted global supply chains and affected global trade and commerce. COVID-19 has strongly reinforced the need for Singapore to secure our food supply and the importance, timeliness and relevance of our “30 by 30” goal.
3 For now, we are not planning to review the “30 by 30” goal, which is already an ambitious undertaking. Local food production forms one part of our basket of strategies to buffer against food supply shocks. We are mindful that local production will not allow us to be self-sufficient in all varieties of food types that we are importing from more than 170 countries and regions today.
4 However, we are responding to the COVID-19 pandemic by accelerating our ramp up in local food production. In April, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) launched a “30 by 30 Express” grant call to ramp up local production in eggs, leafy vegetables and fish over the next six to 24 months. Through this call, SFA will crowdsource and support innovative proposals to grow food productively and sustainably. I am also chairing a multi-agency ministerial taskforce to guide agencies in this effort, including addressing any hurdles related to the setting up or expansion of farms.
5 Even as we ramp up local food production, we need the support of all consumers, corporations and supermarkets to support local produce. Local produce is grown close to our homes, and is therefore fresher, lasts longer and is more sustainable as it incurs lower carbon miles. We encourage Singaporeans to eat local, so as to spur our farmers to increase their production, and in turn reap the benefits of economies of scale and generate exciting jobs for our people.
6 To make it easier for everyone to identify and support local produce, SFA is working with our farmers and retailers to include a new local produce logo, to be incorporated into their packaging which will be rolled out soon. The new label is a result of SFA’s consultation with industry stakeholders and members of the public. SFA will also continue to collaborate with retailers like NTUC FairPrice, Cold Storage and Prime Supermarket to organise joint promotions and display in-store branding collaterals with key messages to promote awareness of local produce. As part of Singapore Together, we will be convening a Citizens’ Workgroup this year to co-create ideas to increase demand for local produce.