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Malta Should Go For Urban Farming To Boost Food Security, Businessman Proposes As He Hails Singapore Model

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With food inflation skyrocketing due to the Ukraine war, the COVID-19 pandemic and other factors, a Maltese businessman has proposed a novel solution to help boost the island’s reliance on food grown on its own shores.

David Xuereb, who used to be president of the Malta Chamber, cast an eye eastwards to Singapore, an island which is often compared to Malta due to its small size, relatively dense population and similar economic model.

Speaking on ONE TV’s Paperscan, Xuereb noted Singapore’s drive towards urban farming in recent years, with the island city-state converting pockets of land, including on rooftops of car parks, hotels and shopping malls, into urban farms.

“Singapore didn’t need the Ukraine war, climate change or COVID-19 to realise that food security was a problem seeing as they were only growing 5% of their own food,” Xuereb said.

“That has now increased to 25% because they’re growing food in horizontal and vertical gardens, industrialised the agriculture sector, and have set a target to be able to produce enough food for the whole population by 2050. If Singapore can do it, so can Malta.”

Describing Malta’s growing reliance on products imported from overseas as “exaggerated”, Xuereb argued that the younger generation is more likely to value Maltese produce due to being more climate change conscious.

Cover photo: Left: An urban farm at a Singapore hotel (Photo from Tomorrow’s Build documentary), Right: David Xuereb (Photo from ONE TV’s Paperscan this morning)

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Tim is interested in the rapid evolution of human society brought about by technological advances. He’s passionate about justice, human rights and cutting-edge political debates. You can follow him on Twitter at @timdiacono or reach out to him at [email protected]

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