For the second year running, in a survey carried out by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), Singapore topped the world in terms of food security.
The Global Food Security Index (GFSI) 2019 takes into account the performance of each country in four main areas. These four pillars include natural resourse and resilience, quality, accessibility, and affordability.
Singapore fared well in the last three areas but did not do well in the area of food security resilience due to its lack of natural food sources and its dependence on food imports.
While Singapore fared well in the survey in terms of accessibility and affordability of food, this finding may not resonate with some quarters of Singaporeans.
Due to the relatively high cost of living, a basic need like food can be expensive to a majority among the lower-income earners in Singapore.
For this group, the demands on their salalries are also greater. Thus, there are trade-offs to be made. A meal may just consist of a serving of rice and egg, or rice with a can of sardines.
Some can only afford the cheapest breads in order to pay for their housing, utilities, and education, before they can decide on what to feed themselves.
Food security does not mean anything to these lower-income group. It is still a struggle.
How then can we, as a country, ensure more equitable distribution of resources so that they are able to access safe and nutritious, but inexpensive food?