Sun.Star Davao


The city-state is looking at importing poultry, pork, and vegetables from Mindanao


As it diversifie­s its food source, Singapore is looking at Mindanao as a source for its agricultur­e imports.

Zhou Suli, Charge d’Affaires of the Embassy of Singaore in the Philippine­s, said due to the limited land area of Singapore for any agricultur­al activity, the city state exports 90 percent of its food.

“Because we import 90 percent of our food, we need to ensure adequate food security. One of the key startegies that we employed is to diversify our food sources,” Suli said during the Export and Trade Oppotuniti­es with Singapore Forum at the Seda Abreeza Hotel, Davao City yesterday. The forum is also part of the general membership meeting of the Davao City Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. (DCCCII).

She said at present, Singapore imports food from 160 countries that are as far as those in Latin America and Africa.

“Currently Singapore imports a small number of food products from the Philippine­s, most of these are fruits like bananas, pineapples, papayas, and mangoes. We are keen to import more,” Suli said.

Singapore and the Philippine­s have began talks to improve the agricultur­al trade between the two. Suli said they have met with Department of Agricultur­e (DA) secretary Manny Piñol to discuss potential products that can be exported by the Philippine­s to Singapore. These products include eggs, poultry, pork, vegetables, shrimps, and rice.

She said two teams from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) of Singapore, which is responsibl­e for the city state’s food safety and security, visited the country earlier this month to inspect farms in the country.

Facilitate­d by DA’s Bureau of Animal Industry, one team visted farms in Luzon and another in Mindanao.

“Their main objective was to accredit farms who can export eggs, poultry, and pork to Singapore,” Suli said.

She said these inspection­s are necessary because of the stringent measures that ensures that meat and poultry products that enter Singapore meet internatio­nal standards.

Suli said Singapore is also keen on importing vegetables from Mindanao, considerin­g that it is also quite near. She said shipping time between the two countries is seven days.

Despite the shorter distance, Suli pointed out that it will still be a logistical challenge on how to ensure that the vegetables that arrive Singapore remain fresh.

“We are working with DA to identify suitable vegetable farms that could export to Singapore; taking into account price competitiv­eness and challenge to keep them fresh by the time the products arrive in Singapore,” Suli said.

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