Riau Islands to tap Republic Poly's expertise in food production, sustainable development

Republic Polytechnic International chairman Seto Lok Yin (left) and Riau Islands governor Ansar Ahmad inked a memorandum of intent. ST PHOTO: LIM YAOHUI

SINGAPORE - Industry experts from Riau Islands' agriculture and aquaculture sectors will be tapping Republic Polytechnic's (RP) strengths as part of a new programme to help farmers there grow better crops.

RP's international arm - Republic Polytechnic International - will share its expertise with the Riau Islands government in sustainable urban farming and the latest food production techniques.

Officials from the Riau Islands and RP inked an 18-month memorandum of intent (MOI) at the Indonesian Embassy in Singapore on Tuesday (April 19).

The programme will run from this month until May next year, and will see 24 leaders and 120 provincial government officials, specialists, entrepreneurs, and industry practitioners from the Riau Islands participating.

There will be six workshops in total, covering digital transformation, sustainable urban farming and aquaculture.

Each workshop, spanning about four to six days, will be held at RP in Singapore and at 16 institutions and agencies in Indonesia.

The partnership is supported by Temasek Foundation.

Indonesia's ambassador to Singapore Suryo Pratomo said the MOI marks a milestone arising from the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders' Retreat in Bintan earlier this year.

"More importantly, it is an opportunity for us to further step up multi-stakeholder collaboration between both countries in education and capacity building, bringing our partnership to greater heights," he added.

Riau Islands Governor Ansar Ahmad said the programme extends beyond training, and helps to strengthen bilateral cooperation between both countries and offers participants and facilitators cross-border perspectives.

RP houses an agri-food research and development cluster that helps farms in Singapore increase crop production and enhance farm operations.

The Sustainable Aquaculture Technology Centre at the polytechnic also conducts research in genetics and fish breeding, disease management and fish feed formulation.

The polytechnic's chief executive and principal, Mr Yeo Li Pheow, said: "RP has been actively engaged and leading efforts in the areas of urban agriculture technology and aquaculture over the years.

"We are confident that this partnership will assist our business partners to harness Industry 4.0 capabilities and advance its food supply sector."

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