[p2p-research] Fwd: additions to Crottorf report

Smári McCarthy smari at anarchism.is
Sun Aug 2 15:59:34 CEST 2009

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Michel Bauwens wrote:
> Sam, Rose: unrelated, but perhaps important in the context of your local
> projects : Singapore (where I'm now) has just decided to put land aside
> so that it can produce 25% of its own food,

That's actually quite an impressive decision on the face of it, but
running it through some filtering makes it less impressive: About 1.6%
of the land area in Singapore is currently used for farming, producing
about 5000 tonnes of vegetables in 2001, running up an agricultural
trade deficit of about $1.22 bn that year

A figure I often cite is the USDA's figure that the average American
consumes around 884 kg of food per year; with the population of
Singapore converging fast on 5 million, that means that there should be
a surplus available.

But: Singapore manufactures Orchids quite heavily for export, and in the
last two decades the country has reduced its livestock farming
substantially. "The government began phasing out pig farming in 1984
because of odor and environmental pollution. Some 200 pig farms raising
about 500,000 pigs in 1987 were scheduled to be reduced to 22 farms with
300,000 pigs by 1990." (http://countrystudies.us/singapore/39.htm)

Further: "Singapore grew 5.6 percent of its total supply of 180,000 tons
of fresh vegetables in 1988 and imported the rest from Malaysia,
Indonesia, China, and Australia. The main crops cultivated locally
included vegetables, mushrooms, fruit, orchids, and ornamental plants."

So something's not right...

One statistic that is very hard to find (although it shouldn't be hard
to produce) is the percentage of vegetables produced that goes into
livestock feed. If this number and the number of tons of water required
to produce each pig, for example, were more commonly known, then the
game might change. Our planets resources are heavily biased in favor of

Water footprints are interesting btw:

Anyway. I applaud Singapore for taking this step, but I think they might
be taking extreme measures to achieve something that they should be
capable of without changing much of anything.

 - Smári
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