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Metro Agriculture and Urban Food Security: An Explicative Symposium with Global Innoversity

Date: 5 September 2013
Time: 9:00am to 4:30pm
Venue: Nanyang Executive Centre, NTU
Organised by: RSIS Centre for NTS Studies 


  An example of urban farming – It has been estimated that cities produce about 20 per cent of the world’s food despite physical and economic limitations of food production in urban areas.

It has been estimated that Asia’s urban population will grow by as much as 25 per cent over the next 25 years. Urbanisation throughout much of Asia will bring about growing incomes, which will in turn lead to a change in diets from those heavily reliant on staple crops to those comprising greater meat, vegetable and processed food content. With growing cities and a corresponding growth in demand for food, there is a need to explore new avenues to feed urban populations. Urban agriculture provides an increasingly promising avenue for this. As seen in the case studies of cities such as Hanoi, Beijing and Singapore, there are opportunities to expand urban/periurban agriculture (UPA*). UPA can serve as a complementary strategy to reduce urban poverty and food insecurity.

Against this backdrop, the symposium on ‘Metro Agriculture and Urban Food Security’ served as a forum for stakeholders in Singapore to share their interests in urban farming and food security and to identify potential collaboration with each other and other urban zones involved in the Global Innoversity** project.

In brief, the symposium aimed to:

  1. Share information on the Global Innoversity Project and its current activities;
  2. Facilitate information exchange on the diverse range of R&D, farming, food trade and food processing activities in Singapore;
  3. Foster dialogue on potential collaboration with Global Innoversity members on R&D, technology sharing, MetroAg/MetroFood innovation and entrepreneurship; and
  4. Discuss formation of a Singapore Community of Practice (COP) on MetroAg/MetroFood.


Click on the following links for additional documents related to the symposium:

  • Agriculture and the City: A Sustained Interplay (Brochure)
    This is a brochure discussing the role of metropolitan agriculture as a source of sustainable innovations. With natural resources becoming increasingly scarce, it brings about the need to innovate and find ways of increasing production in a sustainable manner. This also discusses the creation of TransForum, a collective of knowledge industries, entrepreneurs, non-government organisations and governments.
  • Global Innoversity (Powerpoint presentation by Dr Chris Peterson)
    This PDF copy of the Powerpoint slides used by Dr Peterson during the Global Innoversity Symposium discusses the MetroFood/Metro Ag paradigm and the concept of Global Innoversity. It emphasises multi-stakeholder engagement as the driver for innovation in food systems.
  • Global Innoversity: A Conceptual Business Plan for Local Action, Global Learning and Systemic Impact
    This document presents a conceptual business plan for Global Innoversity. It is ‘conceptual’ in that it outlines the necessary components of a business plan while the estimates and operating assumptions reflect our most current thinking on a novel and evolving operational approach. It is a ‘draft’ despite certain portions have been vetted with the delegates from the founding metropolitan regions.
  • TransForum Synopsis (Book)
    This is a more detailed version of Mr Mager’s powerpoint slides on the creation of TransForum and the processes it underwent in the past to assist several Dutch agricultural businesses.


*UPA pertains to the growing of plants and the raising of animals for food and other uses within and around cities and towns, and related activities such as the production and delivery of inputs, processing and marketing of products (UNESCAP, 2012).


** The Global Innoversity is an innovation accelerator through which the world’s metropolitan regions get inspired and supported to develop, co-create and share innovations in food, agriculture and integrated resource systems. The Global Innoversity is a self-sustaining global program for mutual action learning on metropolitan agriculture in, between and for the metropolitan regions of the world. Its goal is to successfully develop, share and implement a globally acknowledged ‘methodology’ for developing metropolitan agriculture in innovation clusters in metropolitan regions around the world.




Posted on: 5/9/2013 10:00:00 AM  |  Topic: Food Security

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