Senior Minister of State for National Development and Trade and Industry Kok Poh Koon has opined that Singapore could potentially become a test-bed to develop exportable models for food and agriculture (agritech) solutions. He was speaking at the third annual Indoor Agriculture Conference (Ag-Con) Asia in Singapore today.
Urging that Singapore’s environment can help companies expand into global markets, the Minister said, “We are a well-positioned and efficient logistics hub, our stringent food safety standards also generate consumer trust and allow companies exporting from Singapore to enjoy premium quality branding.”
He said, “The government is also currently studying the feasibility of co-locating various food-related industries in a cluster in future.”
Speaking about the expertise of Singapore in agritech sector, the Minister said, “Singapore has also cultivated deep research and development expertise in fields such as biotech and precision engineering, which can help to speed up the development of the precision agriculture and agri-biotech sector.”
Dr Koh said, “We already have players in these areas like Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory, which has strong capabilities in plant sciences and farming systems. Singapore's strong intellectual property framework protects research findings and innovations.”
The Minister also assured that the government agencies will work closely with the companies to overcome regulatory challenges. Giving the example of indoor farms, he said that agencies had made provisions for companies to use private industrial land to kick start operations as they needed space.