The world’s population is growing and yet, resources are shrinking. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has disrupted food supply chains across the globe, is a firm reminder that we cannot take food security for granted.
Agriculture technology, or agri-tech for short, has become more important in agriculture than ever before. It is a growth area that involves the use of modern technologies to increase production yield, improve food quality and promote sustainability in the agri-food value chain.
By investing in technology and R&D, agriculture and aquaculture companies can sow the seeds of self-sufficiency for our future. There is now more urgency to overcome global resource constraints, mitigate the effects of climate change, as well as meet the demands of an increasing population and changing consumer preferences. Significantly, agri-tech will contribute towards strengthening Singapore’s food resilience and supporting our “30 by 30” goal – which is to produce 30% of our nation’s nutritional needs locally by 2030.
High-tech farming and modern aquaculture are set to power the next leap in primary food production innovation. According to consultancy firm Allied Market Research, the global vertical farming market size is projected to reach US$12.77 billion (S$17.4 billion) by 2026, from US$2.23 billion (S$3 billion) in 2018, growing annually at 24.6%. The modern aquaculture market size of US$135 billion (S$183.7 billion) in 2017 is expected to grow at 4.7% annually to US$274.8 billion by 20251.
Singapore companies can ride on this global momentum to pitch your ideas for agriculture and food technologies. To accelerate the growth of Singapore’s agri-food tech ecosystem, we have put in place various initiatives to support local food producers in your development and adoption of these technologies.
Don’t miss out on the opportunities for your company to grow in this exciting industry – by developing your innovation capabilities to grow more with less, even in densely built-up environments.
1 Vertical Farming Market by Component, Structure, and Growth Mechanism: Global Opportunity Analysis and Industry Forecast, 2019 – 2026, Allied Market Research, 2019. Global Aquaculture Market Size by Source (Fresh water, brackish water, sea water), by Consumption (food uses, non-food uses), by Fish Type (finfish, shellfish), By Region and Forecast 2018 to 2025, Adroit Market Research, 2019
Singapore’s strong innovation climate and supporting infrastructure make it well-positioned for agri-food technologies to take root. Agri-tech startups can take advantage of our reliable intellectual property and standards framework, pro-business environment and strong reputation for food safety, and use Singapore as a landing pad to export their solutions to the region.
Today, Singapore's agri-tech startup ecosystem is made up of diverse players across the value chain from farm inputs and systems providers, to high-tech commercial farms that produce food for local consumption. In 2019, Singapore received the highest level of investment for agri-food tech among ASEAN markets, with US$177 million (S$240.8 million) through 37 deals2. In the same year, our investment arm, SEEDS Capital, appointed seven co-investment partners to catalyse more than S$90 million worth of investments into deep tech and early stage agri-food tech startups, to create disruptive agri-food solutions.
We have also worked closely with our startup ecosystem partners to anchor global accelerators such as GROW, Hatch Blue, Trendlines and The Yield Lab in Singapore.
These accelerators will mentor our local agri-tech startups in areas including fundraising and tech sourcing, product development, commercialisation and internationalisation.
Aspiring agri-tech entrepreneurs can tap Startup SG initiatives to nurture new ideas and concepts, and access opportunities in mentorship, funding, talent and infrastructure.
2 2020 ASEAN AgriFoodTech Investment Report, AgFunder, June 2020
Ensuring Singapore’s food security means producing more of what we eat, locally. Singapore Food Agency’s (SFA) “30 by 30” goal – an ambitious plan to produce 30% of our nutritional needs locally by 2030 – can only be achieved in close collaboration with our agri-tech industry.
To help our farmers better understand and navigate the regulatory requirements of setting up safe and productive farms in Singapore, we have launched An Industry Guide for Starting A Farm together with SFA, in consultation with new and existing farmers.
Your company can refer to this consolidated resource for key guidelines, procedures, and regulatory approvals needed to start a land-based farm in Singapore more efficiently. Companies in the farming industry may download it here.
To catalyse innovation in Singapore’s agri-tech ecosystem, the Government announced the establishment of an Agri-Food Innovation Park (AFIP) in 2019.
As a pilot cluster, the AFIP will bring together high-tech farming and associated R&D activities across urban agriculture and aquaculture, and serve as a better base to attract companies, R&D talent and investment to Singapore. The AFIP will be located within the Greater Sungei Kadut area, forming part of a larger Northern Agri-Tech and Food Corridor with food-related industries.
You can discover synergies and tap complementary strengths in like-minded players for high-tech farming and R&D activities, such as in insect farming and animal feed production at the AFIP. The park will open in phases from the second quarter of 2021.
Find out more here.
Exciting opportunities lie ahead for agri-tech companies in Singapore. If you are ready to explore these opportunities in local and overseas markets, Enterprise Singapore has a suite of tools and programmes to support you.
Find out how you can boost capability, go global and access a network of partners, to grow your agri-tech business.
Interested to find out more? Learn how Singapore has been playing its part to drive the growth of the foodtech ecosystem in a post-COVID world.