Japan's top egg producer to invest $100m to build Singapore's 4th egg farm

(From left) Ise Foods CEO Tsukino Yoshikawa, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment Grace Fu, Singapore Food Agency CEO Lim Kok Thai and Ise Foods director Chandra Das. ST PHOTO: MARK CHEONG

SINGAPORE - Japan's top egg producer Ise Foods Holdings is investing more than $100 million to build Singapore's fourth egg farm.

The farm, which will be distributed over four plots spanning 13ha, will produce 360 million eggs and five million day-old chicks annually when it is completed in 2026.

This will ensure that half the eggs needed here are produced locally - almost doubling local supplies from about 28 per cent today.

Welcoming Ise Foods' investment, Singapore Food Agency (SFA) chief executive Lim Kok Thai said the new farm will significantly increase Singapore's egg production capacity and capabilities and create new jobs in the agri-food space.

Mr Lim said: "In 2020, we imported over 70 per cent of our eggs from more than 12 countries. SFA will continue to work with like-minded companies and partners to enhance Singapore's food security."

He was speaking at the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Ise Foods and SFA, which took place virtually on Friday (Sept 10).

The signing was witnessed by Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Sustainability and the Environment.

Construction of the farm is expected to begin from 2022, with the facilities opening progressively from 2024.

Ise Foods' planned state-of-the-art facilities in Lim Chu Kang, Sungei Tengah and Tuas will utilise the Internet of Things for remote monitoring of the day-old chicks, and advanced climatic control and odour management technologies.

Its entry into Singapore will also create good jobs in the agri-food and sustainability sector, said Ms Fu.

Some of the jobs expected to be created include artificial intelligence specialists and farm managers.

Mr Hikonobu Ise, majority shareholder of Ise Foods, said: "We are keen for this development in Singapore to be a model sustainable farm-of-the-future that can be exported and replicated elsewhere."

Singapore currently has three other egg farms - Seng Choon Farm, Chew's Agriculture and N&N Agriculture.

The fourth egg farm will bring the Republic closer to its "30 by 30" goal of food security.

Aiming for Singapore to produce 30 per cent of its own food by 2030, the Government has also focused on modernising local farms as well as research and development.

Last year, Singapore opened a high-tech fish farm off the coast of Pulau Ubin, which is the first in Singapore to have its own post-harvest facility.

The new farm will support Singapore in its push towards strengthening its overall food security in a productive, climate-resilient and sustainable manner, Ms Fu added.

The Republic has focused on agri-technology to bolster its food security amid climate change and supply chain disruptions.

Agri-technology efforts are central to the Republic's efforts to bolster food security with greater self-sufficiency, in the face of climate change and supply chain disruptions.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates widespread declines in crop yields of up to a quarter by 2050 due to global warming.

Singapore, which imports more than 90 per cent of its food from over 170 countries and regions, wants to be less vulnerable to the volatility of the global food market.

When the Covid-19 pandemic first emerged last year, some countries restricted food exports to secure their own food inventories, causing the prices of food staples such as rice and flour to rise.

In December 2018, egg prices soared after Malaysia said that the country was looking into limiting, or stopping, the export of eggs to ensure a sufficient supply for its domestic market.

Said Mr Lim: "Singapore's efforts in strengthening food security would not be complete without the support of consumers. We encourage more Singaporeans to support local produce."

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