Singapore committed to UN goals on sustainable development: Masagos

Initiatives to reduce food waste and leverage technology to transform agriculture have been implemented so Singapore can play its part in a global campaign to end hunger, said Environment and Water Resources Minister Masagos Zulkifli yesterday.

Mr Masagos told the G-20 Agriculture Ministers' Meeting in Niigata, Japan, that Singapore is committed to achieving the United Nations' sustainable development goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 2.

This aims to end hunger, achieve food security, improve nutrition and promote sustainable farming.

"Through our efforts to grow local, adopt circular economy approaches and co-create innovative solutions to enhance food production and be more resource efficient, we will contribute to the SDGs," Mr Masagos said. Other goals include eradicating poverty, promoting good health and developing affordable clean energy with the aim to achieve each one by 2030.

Mr Masagos touched on Singapore's vision in his speech: "To bolster our food security and contribute to SDG 2, we will pursue three broad strategies - grow local, grow overseas and diversify import sources."

He added that one goal is to meet 30 per cent of the nation's nutritional needs locally by 2030. Singapore now imports more than 90 per cent of its food.

Mr Masagos said Singapore is also using science and technology to overcome land constraints and maximise productivity by employing options such as vertical indoor farming, which reduces reliance on manpower and lessens vulnerability to environmental risks.

He cited the importance of waste management and the concept of a circular economy, which includes converting waste into energy. For example, N&N Agriculture egg farm uses a digester to convert chicken manure to biogas that can be used to generate electricity.

His ministry has designated 2019 as the Year Towards Zero Waste. The campaign will encourage the public to reduce food waste and set a target date of 2024 whereby commercial and industrial premises will have to segregate their food waste for treatment.

SEE INSIGHT

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on May 12, 2019, with the headline 'S'pore committed to UN goals on sustainable development: Masagos'. Print Edition | Subscribe