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Director General  José Graziano da Silva

FAO to partner with Singapore in exploring innovative ways to boost local and regional food security

Director-General sees the country’s vertical farming system as a new opportunity for agricultural development

José Graziano da Silva observes vertical farming systems in Singapore.

5 September 2014, Singapore – FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva has praised the innovative efforts on food security and food safety undertaken by Singapore, during his first official visit to one of FAO’s newest member countries.

During the visit Graziano da Silva noted how FAO and Singapore are committed to boosting food security and food safety in Singapore as well as in the wider region, by using, for example, the country’s technique of vertical farming in a land-scarce urban environment.

During the visit to Sky Greens and Swee Chioh Fishery, innovative local farms which make use of technology to maximize land efficiency, the FAO Director General was briefed on how Singapore is increasing productivity with very limited resources.

The vertical systems deployed at Sky Greens measure 9 meters in length and are housed in protected-outdoor greenhouses which allow tropical leafy vegetables to be grown all year round.

The FAO DG’s stay in Singapore ended with a visit to a hawker centre, where he was able to observe  how Singapore’s National Environment Agency is ensuring the availability of affordable dining options in a clean and hygienic environment.

Earlier Graziano da Silva met several top officials including Singapore’s Minister for National Development, Khaw Boon Wan, the Minister of State for National Development and Defence, Mohamad Maliki bin Osman, the 2nd Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Albert Chua, as well as representatives  from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA).

“The world can learn from Singapore’s success stories. Commercial indoor and rooftop vegetable farms are opening and other urban and peri-urban agricultural initiatives are taking shape," Graziano da Silva said.

For his part, Minister Khaw said: “We have some experience in this area and in recent years have also developed some expertise in urban and vertical farming. Singapore welcomes the opportunity to partner with FAO and learn from fellow FAO members on best practices in this field.”

 

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