Building Local Food Security



TLDR: If you can afford to, do buy local vegetables and eggs. It helps with Singapore’s food security.

I buy vegetables that are slightly more expensive, just because they are from Singapore. Is it because they are really more nutritious? Or because the food safety aspects is more established? Or maybe because I want to show off that I can? Actually, I do it because I believe I am doing my part for Food Security in Singapore.

During the pandemic period, we can see how we are affected because we couldn’t locally produce the things we need, especially when countries we import from decides to close their borders (for safety or other reasons). This is especially true for food. One way we try to mitigate this is to have multiple food source from which we import from, but nonetheless, if all things fail, it is important for us to have local production of food.

For local agricultural companies to survive and create a sustainable business, they cannot be waiting for disaster to strike so they can capitalise and flourish. In fact, many are trying their best to create a sustainable business model in which they can grow. Being in a country that has higher labour cost, capital expenses in setting up high tech farming and land leases, local agriculture produce can’t help but be a little more expensive then their counter-parts imports that comes from countries where labour and land cost are much lower.

So, local agricultural companies would need supporters for them to survive and thrive and hopefully grow bigger (and thus in the longer term be able to bring the price of their produce to a level equivalent to imports).

Not everyone in Singapore can afford the luxury of paying slightly more for the same item they can get for a cheaper price (imports). But for those of us who can afford to, I think it would be important to try to buy local agriculture. We do not need to always buy local, but maybe we can consciously try to buy 50% from local.

For example, I would try to get locally produced vegetables or eggs. The delta cost to me might be from +$0.20-$0.50 more for vegetables, or maybe $1 more for eggs, but I know that with my purchasing power, I am creating a sustainable eco-system for local food producers, which they can also possibility plough back into their R&D efforts to be more efficient.

So, if you do share the same level of support for local food security, you might want to try to get local vegetables and eggs more often the next time you visit the supermarket