11 June 2008

Diesel prices in Malaysia have gone up by 63% recently. Naturally, this will squeeze the truckers' profit margins who transport vegetables, eggs and chickens to Singapore. Elsewhere in Asia and Europe, truckers have gone on a strike.

Trucks transport most of the world's food. If truckers go on strike, where will the supermarkets you shop from import their food?

The recent news reports of truckers protesting high diesel prices are a warning to us that we need to re-organise how we obtain our food sources. Depending on farmers who are hundreds and thousands of miles away for our food supplies is a sign of poor resilience. We need to grow more food here at home and intensify organic urban agriculture development. This step is imperative for Singapore to prepare for peak oil. Bear in mind that we import about 90% of the food we consume. As improbable as it may seem, do not discount the possibility of empty supermarket shelves in our "Food Paradise" if oil prices continue to rise. I don't wish to imagine the outcome in the event of food scarcity here in Singapore, which has one of the highest population densities in the world.

The Straits Times - Up prices of eggs and some vegetables

Meanwhile, Malaysian transportation companies have informed importers that they will charge up to 30 per cent more to haul leafy vegetables into Singapore. Last Thursday, Malaysia cut back its fuel subsidies, which increased pump prices for petrol by 41 per cent and diesel by 63 per cent.

The increase has trickled down to wet markets here, which have already been forced to raise prices because of a supply crunch.

Fuel Protests Erupt in Asia As Oil Hits $139 a Barrel

Protests over soaring fuel prices erupted in Asia on Tuesday as truckers in Hong Kong and tire-burning demonstrators in India and Nepal added their angry voices to protests that began last month in Europe.

Truckers' strike clogs highways, causes supply disruptions in Spain

Vendors warned of shortages of fruit, vegetables and meat this week at Madrid's sprawling wholesale market, Mercamadrid, if the strike continues.


Ariel said...

Yes i agree. We should grow more food in Singapore. We could make use of Pulau Ubin to have a huge organic farm.

I'm not sure how to grow rice, but if rice/bread can be gron there grow it.

Question? Is Pulau Ubin able to grow the food that the whole of Sg need in case there is a crisis?

If there is no space. On top of all HDB flats we should start growing food. So for each flat there can be some fruit/vege to eat when there is a crisis.


TM said...

Hi Ariel,

Pulau Ubin has a land area of 10.19 sq km, which translates to about 2518 acres.

According to David Pimentel of Cornell University, at least 1.2 acres per person is required in order to maintain American dietary standards.

Assuming that all 2518 acres of Pulau Ubin is cultivable, which is most unlikely, then the island is only good enough to feed about 2100 persons, or 0.0456% of our current population - doesn't sound too good now, does it?