SINGAPORE (Nov 12): In 2010, electrical engineer David Tan made his way from Singapore to a remote village in Chiang Mai, Thailand. He worked with the villagers, who mostly farm rice and corn, to fix some irrigation problems at a children’s home. The community gained better access to water, while Lin gained an appreciation for the farming community. He eventually decided to start a farming cooperative in Singapore called CrowdFarmX, which aims to train Southeast Asian farmers to adopt better farming practices and technologies to raise yield. And Tan knows that by helping farmers improve their businesses, he is playing a small part to bolster regional food security.

Apart from Tan, a number of start-ups and other companies in Singapore have also started ventures in farming, urban or otherwise. And they have weighty reasons for getting involved.

Last year, Singapore imported 1.45 billion eggs, 525,686 tonnes of vegetables and 182,822 tonnes of chicken. All of that comes from 180 other countries. Malaysia is one of our largest food sources, accounting for a third of chicken and 76% of eggs. Thailand supplies eggs, sugar, milk, fruits, vegetable, rice and fish to us.

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