Singapore tops Global Food Security Index – but could face risks

The Global Food Security Index ranked Singapore first in terms of food security.
Singapore Press Holdings

Singapore tops the Global Food Security Index (GFSI), which was released on Tuesday (Oct 16), when it comes to ensuring that its citizens have access to safe and nutritious food at affordable prices.

The GFSI attributed this to its status as a high-income economy and the fact that it has the lowest agricultural import tariffs among all countries in the index, which helps to reduce food import costs.

However, the report also indicated that Singapore’s food security is the most susceptible to climate and natural resource risks as most of its food is imported. According to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, over 90 per cent of food in Singapore is brought in from overseas.

Singapore’s food supply could potentially be disrupted depending on climate change’s adverse effects on food-exporting countries.

With climate risks taken into account, Singapore’s ranking becomes 16th among the 113 countries. In that case, Switzerland takes top spot.

This is the first time Singapore has topped the GFSI annual rankings since the index began in 2012. Last year, Singapore ranked fourth.

Singapore’s high score was largely due to its strength in the affordability component of the index.

The global index ranked 113 countries, each assessed on four categories – affordability, availability, quality and safety, and natural resources and resilience – “the ability to bounce back from a shock or disaster, ideally better off than before”.

Second on the list is Ireland, with the United Kingdom and the United States in joint third.