Farm to Table Singapore-Style

Farms are few and far between in Singapore. Farming is not really an industry and farmlands are rare. Farming is not really a natural choice for Singaporeans for obvious reasons and there is nothing really that can be deemed as rural or countryside. Whatever little countryside exists is in Kranji where you would find some farms that grow a few vegetables, you will get limited livestock but mostly goats and the fat koi which has no more than ornamental value. If you are looking for large vegetables, a plethora of spices, pork and poultry, beef and lamb, then you have to look beyond the coast.

Farm to table may be a trend in many countries now but only where agriculture is widespread. Here in Singapore you would even get fish from nearby markets such as Tsukiji. Farmed fish is available in Singapore but in limited quantities. Locally caught wild fish is also scarce. The oysters, wild fishes other than bass and grouper as well as shrimps and other wonders of the ocean around the city are mostly imported. Some attempts are being made to change this but the ebbing has been slow. There are local producers who are providing a substantial part of the required ingredients at some restaurants but the numbers are not exciting.

There are two major problems or limitations that have held back the farming industry. The availability of resources is the biggest challenge. One factor in this cannot be helped. The small city state does not have enough farmland. There are no diverse terrains and climates that would facilitate the growth of hundreds of different types of produce including cereals, vegetables, fruits, spices and livestock. The other problem pertains to the shortcomings of vertical farming. While some people have experimented with vertical farming and an odd one has even managed to attain some success, the concept is difficult to execute on the ground. The cost of land is a concern. Even if the cost was subsidized, the investment to build a vertical structure wherein every floor can be a self contained unit for a specific produce is huge. The cost of labour and the prevailing policies are clearly not ideal for farming.

The farm to table Singapore style is confined to chocolate bars that are made from beans, the availability of soya sauce, some fresh oysters from the oceanic backyard and organic tofu. Such produces are a delight for the chefs that endorse them and use them generously but only when they get an opportunity. Supply is still a concern. It is almost always easier and cheaper to import than to deal with local produce. There are few farmers. There is no nationwide association of farmers that would take care of demands of the hospitality industry or the retail trade. The supply chain does not really exist as it does in major agrarian economies. The ones who have managed to excel in the farm to table niche here in Singapore are Bear Bear Fresh, Farm Delight, Hay Dairies, Nippon Koi Farm and Kin Yan Agrotech.

About the Author

Morris Edwards is a content writer at, he writes different topics like 4 Reasons It’s Time to Outsource Your Finance Department, Singapore soars in global innovation rankings and all topics related to Business and Finance. If you are interested about Company Formation in Singapore  visit our website for more info.

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