The influence of a changing external landscape on urban food security

Project Number
RS 5/14 PT

Project Duration
September 2014 - September 2015


This project is a continuation of work started in the PI's previous RS-SAA project RS 6/12 PT, titled "Urban agriculture and its role in urban food security" which ends 15 Sept 2014. A Research Assistant has been hired on this project and this grant application is to continue supporting her to resume the work but focusing on factors in the external landscape which influence Singapore's urban food security. The rationale is that Singapore's food security, as typical of an urban city-state, depends of four "food taps" (Teng, 2013), namely, imports, self-production, reserve stockpiles and overseas contract farming. Singapore imports >90% of its food and as such, its food security is highly dependent on external factors which influence agricultural production in the source countries for Singapore's food; there are also factors which influence the physical transport of food from source to Singapore, as well as the availability of surpluses for export by these source countries (Teng & Escalar, 2012). Self-production of food is severely limited by availability of land, water and labour for extensive crops such as rice and corn, but is feasible to some extent for food items such as fresh vegetables, eggs and fish. Past work done under the RS-SAA grant has explicated Singapore's food security approach to be that of "self reliance" which depends on the country having a financial capacity to purchase food on the international market and through special binding agreements for import with selected countries (Teng & Morales, 2013). However, the impending ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) 2015, climate change and renewed investment in agriculture are fast changing the external landscape of food production and postulated to influence the amount of food available for importing countries like Singapore.

Funding Source

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