[p2p-research] Fwd: additions to Crottorf report

Michel Bauwens michelsub2004 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 5 11:04:32 CEST 2009

here is the article outlining Singapore's new policy,

http://farmlandgrab.org/6612 ;

Straits Times | Aug 1, 2009

*More farm area, funds to be set aside to guard against global shortages
*By Jessica Lim

MORE land will be set aside for growing food while companies will be
encouraged to work with farms overseas to ensure that Singapore has a ready
and stable supply of produce. With the turbulence in food prices in recent
years exposing the island state’s vulnerability, these moves should mitigate
supply shortages and sharp price increases in the long term.

‘Local farming can serve as a strategic stockpile, like Newater,’ said
National Development Minister Mah Bow Tan in a speech at the Agri-Food and
Veterinary Authority’s food safety awards on Friday night.

More space for farms will be obtained by expanding existing farms or setting
aside unused land parcels. It has been projected that over the next five
years, the local supply of eggs should rise from 23 per cent to 30 per cent,
fish from 4 per cent to 15 per cent and leafy vegetables from 7 per cent to
10 per cent.

A fund, the amount of which is not yet known, will be available for farmers
to tap for upgrading and expansion. It can also be used by companies, such
as those involved in import and distribution, to explore if food zones
identified overseas are suitable for investment of capital.

Singapore now imports more than 90 per cent of its food, and the zones will
be identified for six key imports - chicken, pork, fish, eggs, leafy
vegetables and rice.

Companies will be encouraged to work with growers to farm specifically for
Singapore, in addition to their local communities. ‘We want to encourage our
companies to increase their participation in the entire value chain from
food production to distribution, to better secure supplies,’ said Mr Mah.

Importers now cast a wide net, working with suppliers from over 30
countries. But these growers also supply to the rest of the world, so when
there is a shortage, such as that just last year, a bidding war ensues.
Singapore hopes to bypass such a scrap with its own assured supply.

‘As Singapore imports most of its food, we are vulnerable to sharp changes
in food supply and prices,’ added Mr Mah. ‘More needs to be done as we
prepare ourselves to face the longer-term challenges affecting global food
supply and demand.’

It is hoped that these new measures will prevent a repeat of the price
inflation for food items that hit Singapore around this time last year. The
situation sent the authorities scrambling to secure new lines of supply. An
inter-agency committee was set up to study and review food supply policies.
The new recommendations have sprung from that.

Manufacturers have welcomed the proposals. Mr Thomas Pek, managing director
of home-grown soya sauce manufacturer Tai Hua, which imports up to 2,000
tonnes of soybeans a year, said his product went up in price last year
following a shortage of the main ingredient.

2009/8/2 Smári McCarthy <smari at anarchism.is>

> Hash: SHA1
> 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
> (
> http://www.nationsencyclopedia.com/Asia-and-Oceania/Singapore-AGRICULTURE.html
> ).
> 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."
> (ibid)
> 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
> vegetarianism.
> Water footprints are interesting btw:
> http://www.waterfootprint.org/?page=files%2Fproductgallery
> 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
> Version: GnuPG v1.4.9 (GNU/Linux)
> Comment: Using GnuPG with Mozilla - http://enigmail.mozdev.org
> iEYEARECAAYFAkp1m8IACgkQ9cJSn8kDvvHRAQCg4pMF72homqo2EW+XRcHLu3xS
> RHoAnR6yU/+SDXIofQeK4/OUx0JMulcO
> =cfSb

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