SINGAPORE - Singapore and the FAO are to work together to improve food and nutrition security in Southeast Asia, with a special focus on food safety and fisheries, according to a new agreement signed today - the first since the city-state joined the Organization in 2013.
Improving the health and safety of food, including street food, and combating illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing are key areas in a larger collaboration that will also look at cutting food losses and waste, making trade and agriculture more sustainable, and building resilience to animal and plant-related threats.
"During my first official visit to Singapore last year, I was impressed by its innovative efforts to ensure food security and food safety," said FAO Director-General José Graziano da Silva during today's signing ceremony. "I see the value of sharing its good practices with other countries," he added.
"We look forward to strengthening cooperation with FAO on food security, as well as in related areas such as food safety, and animal and plant health," said Singapore's Minister of State Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman. "This is part of our continuing effort to boost Singapore's food security, and demonstrates our commitment to contribute advance food security globally - particularly through Research and Development and technology development," he added.
The agreement foresees knowledge exchanges, technical consultations and other forms of cooperation, including the deployment of experts across the region, as well as trainings, study visits, joint seminars and workshops.
In addition to exchanging and deploying professionals in the field, FAO and Singapore will also work together on developing food policies, creating agricultural research programmes and training material, and disseminating new technologies.
Singapore, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has developed from a small port city into a major commercial and financial hub.
Since joining the Organization in 2013, the Government of Singapore has been engaging in dialogues with FAO regarding opportunities to advance food security and food safety in the country and across Southeast Asia, resulting in this first cooperation agreement.
The country's strong research and development capabilities offer many opportunities for feeding into FAO's work and exchanging knowledge with other countries.
Singapore is also a front runner in urban agriculture innovation, with vertical farms and rooftop gardens contributing to food security and quality of life in the city-state of over 5 million people.
"I am confident that this agreement will further strengthen regional and global exchanges in the realm of food and agriculture, and it represents a major step for Singapore and FAO in the global development arena," FAO's Director-General said. "We look forward to a growing partnership."
TheFishSite News Desk