Community gardens: Get private sector involved

Miss Lee Kay Yan underscores the point that not only is there a place for private initiatives to produce edible fruits and vegetables, but also communities can play a part to ensure Singapore's food security through a bottom-up approach (Pay more attention to community gardens; June 7).

Community gardens are important, and it is crucial to ensure their sustainability.

They cannot become a hobbyist garden, which cannot meet any community's food demands.

One solution is to have a public, people and private-sector partnership to co-create solutions together. Under this partnership, private-sector companies can be invited to contribute their skills and expertise in growing food of a substantial quantity through high-tech means.

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This would ensure that there is optimal production of food that meets the community's needs.

The gardens can ideally be at community centres, public spaces or even family service centres or homes for the elderly.

Such a partnership can provide activities for residents of these centres, and help the centres generate extra income to fund community events and activities.

Companies in the agricultural sector have the expertise to start urban farms, and the public and people sectors have land which can be used to start economically viable farms.

This could be the evolution of urban farming in Singapore and our solution to the food security issue.

Nicholas Ho (Dr)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 11, 2017, with the headline 'Community gardens: Get private sector involved'. Print Edition | Subscribe