This page features a compilation and selection of Singapore seed industry news briefs, summaries and leads, with an emphasis on events that impact or affect provinces, regions, counties, cities and locales in Singapore
The news covers trends and events regarding seed regulation, testing, legislation, phytosanitary issues, intellectual property rights, biotechnology (genomics, gene-editing) plant breeding, agronomy and cropping, with original sources linked.
This page will be updated throughout the year, with most recent briefs listed first.
Singapore reverts to ‘heightened alert’ as cases return: July 27: Despite the widely touted success of vaccination drive, a COVID case spike returned to Singapore in late July, prompting authorities to revert to phase two “heightened alert” restrictions and double down on its mass inoculation strategy. A spike in cases was reported on July 20, which was attributed to an infected crew from an Indonesian fishing boat, and local karaoke bars or KTVs. Under phase two restrictions, social gatherings are limited to two people, and with no more than two gatherings per day. Restaurants and bars can only offer takeaway service, and all live events cannot exceed 100 persons, and must impose mandatory pre-event testing and mask wearing. Meanwhile, Finance Minister Lawrence Wong, who co-chairs Singapore’s the multi-ministry task force concerned with Covid-response measures, told Parliament that restrictions would be reviewed by mid-August, specifically to ease restrictions only for fully vaccinated persons, who he proposed would be allowed to attend a large event or a religious service, dine in at a restaurant or work out in a gym. Singapore had plans to open up in September when it is expected that around 80% of the population would be fully vaccinated, up from around 50% currently. The current outbreak has again heavily impacted businesses. See this article as well as this one for more information.
Fully automated ‘super tower’ to cultivate strawberries: July 23. A partnership between German vertical farming company and Italian manufacturing company that specializes in automatic vertical warehouses will look to launch fully automated farming systems for high-value fruity crops such as strawberries in the heart of Singapore and elsewhere. The first four “Super Towers”, will be installed in Singapore in March 2022. See story here.
Cotton seeds for the elderly during gap year
Three 19-year old college kids during their gap year, decided to join forces to procure cotton seeds for elderly people According to this article in the Straits Times the students wanting to do something positive during their gap year decided that cotton plant seed kits for seniors were ideal because the plants grew fast and easily.