All I did was eat in Singapore -shame on me. I have never thought seriously about Singapore's food self sufficiency level. I simply assumed that majority of the food stuffs were imported from Malaysia to feed 5 million people living in Singapore. But logically speaking, if you rely heavily on one nation for imports, there will be problem (like Singapore-Malaysia water relations). Diversification is of course necessary. Yet the fact remains that Singapore is dependent on imports for food. Now, relying heavily on imported food means in the future Singapore will face a big challenge as securing food will be much more difficult. Food self sufficiency level is less than 10% in Singapore, meaning Singapore produces less than 10% of the food it consumes. AVA is trying to boost production and it is AVA's top priority at the moment -seafood from 4% to 15%, eggs from 23% to 30% and leafy vegetables from 7% to 10%. I'd say the seafood boost from 4 % to 15% is very aggressive. Local farm raised seafood items include grouper, snapper, seabass, milkfish, green mussels, shrimp and mangrove crabs. Apparently though, Singapore is the capital of ornamental fish -the one that sells for higher price but can't be eaten! Local veggies are caixin, kailan, kang kong, xiao bai cai, bean sprouts and so on. So where does all the foodstuff come from? According to an article I read in the Japanese Embassy of Singapore website, majority of chicken is from Brazil and Malaysia. Pork - Indonesia and Australia, seafood -Indonesia and Malaysia, veggies -Malaysia, Indonesia and China (certainly there are other countries which exports food to Singapore in a smaller scale). According to AVA figures, during 1970's in terms of self sufficiency, the production of poultry was 80%, egg 100% and pork 104%!
My worry is that when global food crisis do occur and the food prices soar, individual food stalls at coffee shops and hawker centres will be greatly affected as compared to food giants that operate food courts where they have a bigger buying power and hence better at negotiating the wholesale price. And owning a food stall will be even more unattractive financially, and therefore younger generation will sieze to be a stall owner. Sadly, without the younger generation taking over, all these legendary flavors will be lost..