How Will We Feed the World in 2050?


Prof Yu Hao (left) and Peter Chia (right) showcasing the research in aquaculture at the fish facility of the Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory for Channel NewsAsia’s TV programme Future Forward

Rapid population growth is threatening food security. Global demand for food, feed and fibre will nearly double by 2050, while agriculture will be forced to adapt to climate change and compete for land and water against sprawling urban settlements. At the same time, we will also need to continue to preserve natural habitats and endangered species, while maintaining a high level of biodiversity. As though these are not challenging enough, in most regions around the world fewer people will be living in rural areas and even fewer will be farmers. So, will we have enough food to feed nine billion people in 2050?

Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory’s (TLL) Executive Director, Prof Yu Hao and Chief Operating Officer Peter Chia, were interviewed by Channel NewsAsia’s Future Forward journalists to address how science and technology, specifically urban aquaculture and agriculture research, can help meet these food security challenges and assist us in growing more with less land and fewer hands.

To watch the highlights of the Channel NewsAsia Future Forward segment, please click below:


About Aquaculture at TLL

TLL has successfully developed superior fish brood stocks through selective breeding using sustainable aquaculture. This method leverages on the use of molecular genetics to increase production of commercially important tropical fish species, such as Asian seabass (barramundi). TLL aims to cultivate better quality and disease resistant fish that have improved growth rates and higher nutritional benefits. This application of technology for selective breeding enhances food supply and plays an important role in contributing to food security.

About Rice at TLL

TLL has developed its own unique varieties of fragrant rice that are naturally-bred and have ‘super’ traits. These new rice varieties have improved yields and are much more resistant to bacterial and fungal diseases, as well as more tolerance of environmental stresses such as droughts and floods. Through the use of marker-assisted breeding, a method which helps enhance desirable genetic traits, TLL can now grow rice faster and in a more efficient manner.

Did you know…

Singapore currently imports about 90% of its food supply. AVA (the national authority for food safety and animal and plant health) is pushing for local farms to produce at least 10% of the country’s leafy vegetables, 15% of its fish and 30% of its hen eggs, to supplement AVA’s strategy of improving better food supply resilience in Singapore.