The Startup Community In Singapore Wants to Make It The First Food Sustainable City
Food waste is a huge concern in Singapore. In fact, 9 out of 10 Singaporeans are reported to be concerned about food waste. Until very recently though few in Singapore were tackling this issue. A National Environment Agency survey indicates that the average Singaporean generates 140kg of food waste a year. This would be like throwing two bowls of rice in the trash every day.
Reducing that much food waste could have a huge impact, especially in Singapore where the rely on food imports to meet domestic food demand. From 2005 -2014 food waste increased by 50% in Singapore. It was not until 2016 that the trend began to reverse, dropping by only .39% compared to 2015.
Now there seems to be a trend of businesses in Singapore tackling this issue head-on. Last week we reported on CItizen Farm, an aquaponics farm in Singapore that grows its own fish food from fly larvae that are raised on food waste from local grocers and restaurants.
Just last month, Singapore Airline’s began efforts to incorporate sustainable ingredients in in-flight meals to make traveling more environmentally sustainable and support the local farmers in the region.
While corporate businesses are inching to be more environmentally conscious, Singapore start-ups are taking it up a notch, with many championing food sustainability at the forefront of their businesses, tackling the problem of making Singapore food sustainable at a national scale.
Singapore Food Sustainable Startups Tackle Food Waste Head On
Makanpreneur- Southeast Asia’s first Food Sustainability Accelerator was launched on the 18 November 2017. Four innovative food start-ups were selected, out of sixteen applications, for a four-month training programme by UNFRAMED in partnership with Croeni Foundation, National Youth Council, and FoodXervices. The accelerator program aims to help tech start-ups addressing food sustainability challenges to scaling their impact, by offering comprehensive support including rigorous training, coaching programs, funding and the largest impact-network in Singapore.
Ecolution looks at the next-generation of polyculture farms, where smart precision agriculture technologies are implemented in farming multiple crops in the same space. FarmX has developed a full Internet-of-Things (IoT) system including sensors and automated smart-irrigation, so that urban farming can be made cost-effective, with minimal manpower involvement. Both are currently piloting their solutions with local farms.
Another Makanpreneur start-up, E-Farmer Market, is building an online platform to connect hobby farmers with the local community. Farmers can trade their homegrown foods with their neighbors, giving visibility to Singapore’s underground homegrown farmers, and reduce food wastage by redistributing food surpluses. Similarly, Lasmin has launched an online marketplace with both an Android and an iPhone app, bringing buyers and sellers of perishable food items together, thus reducing information asymmetry and food waste.
These startups and the Makapreneur accelerator all share a similar goal. They want to get Singapore to be a food sustainable city capable of meeting its own food demands and also not wasting food in its ecosystem. As a company that has a very similar vision for cities, this is a story we love to see. Tackling these issues is not easy and it’s always inspiring to see entrepreneurs willing to take that extra risk. It’s encouraging to see that Singapore also has Makapreneur to offer the support and guidance these entrepreneurs will need to navigate themselves on a path to success.
To read more about Singapore’s startups tackling food sustainability head-on check out the original story here.