Speech - Welcome Address by Ms Low Khah Gek, CEO/ITE, at the 3rd Singapore-Shizuoka Agri Food Forum on 10 Nov 2022, 0900hrs at Function Hall, ITE College East

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  • Publish date:10 Nov 2022

Dr Koh Poh Koon, Senior Minister of State for Ministry of Sustainability & the Environment and Ministry of Manpower 

Mr Takashi Mori, Vice-Governor, Japan Shizuoka Prefecture

Keynote Speakers:

Mr Shigeru Yoshida Representative Director of the Non-Profit Organisation Shizuoka Organic Web: and

Mr Jack Moy, CEO, Sustenir

Mr Eugene Toh, Director, Agritech, Enterprise Singapore [facilitator for panel discussion]

Distinguished guests from Shizuoka Prefecture who flew over 5,000km to be here with us

Industry Representatives

Colleagues from IHLs: Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic, and the Singapore Food Agency

Forum participants online

Ladies and Gentlemen


On behalf of the organising members from Shizuoka Prefecture, AgriOpen Innovation Institute (AOI) and Singapore's Institute of Technical Education (ITE), Nanyang Polytechnic, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Republic Polytechnic, Temasek Polytechnic and the Singapore Food Agency, I warmly welcome you to the 3rd Singapore-Shizuoka Agri-Food Forum in Singapore. Ko No - Fu Ohh Ra Mu - Eh Yoo Ko So (meaning: Welcome to this forum – in Japanese)

Singapore-Shizuoka Agri Food Forum (SSAFF)

The annual Singapore-Shizuoka Agri-Food Forum aims to bring together academia, researchers, and agriculture companies from Singapore and Shizuoka for cross-border exchanges and developmental updates in Agri-Food research, technologies, and best practices.

At ITE, we are delighted to host this year’s forum,especially with it being the first physical forum since it was introduced in 2020.

This Singapore and Shizuoka collaboration was first started by Temasek Polytechnic, who hosted the inaugural forum in 2020 virtually. Since then, the Singapore-Shizuoka team has continued to sustain the relationship through regular monthly meetings, updates on relevant developments and planning for the forum. Annually, Singapore and Shizuoka take turns hosting this forum. As we move out of the pandemic situation, we hope to resume other planned activities, including staff and student exchanges.

Supporting the Growth of the Agri Tech Industry

To meet the demands of an increasing population and constantly changing consumer preferences, the growth of the agri-food industry has made Agriculture Technology and Sustainable Farming all the more important now than ever.

To support the Agri Food industry's technological advancement and manpower needs, the IHLs in Singapore adopted a multi-pronged approachby: a) offering full certification programmes and short courses on various skill sets required to support this industry; b) Setting up Agri Tech training facilities; and c) building capabilities through research projects and active industry partnerships.

IHL Training Programme for the Agri Tech Industry

Republic Polytechnic offers a part-time Diploma in Applied Science (Urban Agricultural Technology)1 to develop the competencies, skills, and knowledge needed for a career in the agriculture industry.

Ngee Ann Polytechnic and Republic Polytechnic jointly offer a 1-year Specialist Diploma in Agritechnology and Agribusiness2. This programme covers farm operations and business development competencies supporting the management of hi-tech urban farms to enhance their productivity and profitability.

In ITE, our first Agri Tech Diploma will be introduced in Apr 2023. The new Work-Study Diploma in Agriculture and

Aquaculture Technology aims to prepare the next generation of local technologists for the agri food industry. It will equip trainees with the skills and knowledge in automating and managing urban agriculture and aquaculture systems, with the deployment of sensors and control systems, robotics, Internet-of-Things (IoT), and data analytics to achieve a highly productive, innovative, and sustainable agri-food industry.

The IHLs also offers a number of short courses to support the growth & skills set change of this industry. For example,

- ITE offers two Certificate of Competency (CoC) in AgriTech - Smart Farming System and Augmented Reality for Predictive Maintenance and three CoCs in Urban Farming.

- Republic Polytechnic offers Clean and Green Standards for Urban Farms, Specifications for Good Agriculture Practice in Singapore, and a number of Career Conversion Programmes for Agritech Operators and Agritech Specialists. Along with these short courses, the IHLs offer a number of eLearning courses in Agriculture Technology.

Training Facilities in Agri Tech

In August this year, Republic Polytechnic opened a 7,000 sq ft Green House that leverages cutting-edge technologies such as remote monitoring and the internet of things (IoT) to grow plants in regulated climatic conditions sustainably.

The Greenhouse is part of RP's Integrated Agriculture Hub (IAH), which facilitates training, research, and industry collaboration on technical solutions for modern-age farming.

At ITE, our new Horticulture Technology Hub in ITE College East aims to automate indoor farming processes from seeding to harvesting with minimal human intervention. I believe this training facility will create awareness and generate interest in farming, especially amongst the younger generation, through the use of technology.

I invite you to visit ITE’s Horticulture Technology Hub and The Green House @Republic Polytechnic4 after this forum.

Building Research Capabilities in Agri Tech

In terms of research capabilities, Temasek Polytechnic’s Centre for Research and Opportunities in Plant Science (CROPS) conducts leading research through partnerships with stakeholders in the agritech ecosystem to increase urban farming productivity and sustainability. The key CROPS capabilities are Indoor Production Systems, Microbiome Modulation, Plant Tissue Culture and Plant Formulations. TP has established efficient cultivation practices for fruit vegetables, mainly cherry tomatoes and capsicum, using specific LED light combination and rejuvenated soils in indoor production systems.

Nanyang Polytechnic’s Centre for Aquaculture Diagnostics & Vaccines (CADV), that was set up in November 2018, aims to be a one-stop provider of workable and deployable

solutions to address health-related problems and the nutritional requirements of cultured aquatic animals. Key projects at CADV include the development of autogenous vaccines for food fish, precision strategies for mud crab, and shrimp biofloc grow-out platform technology. More recently, CADV has embarked on developing innovative solutions to overcome some of the cost and technical hurdles which would impact the aquatic species cultivated meat industry.

Appreciation of the Keynote Speakers and Presenters

Today, we are privileged to hear from two keynote speakers.

Mr Yoshida-san will be speaking on Sustainable Agriculture in Japan while Mr Jack Moy will be speaking on adopting technology in farming. I am eagerly looking forward to their presentations.

Additionally, we have facilitators and presenters in the breakout sessions who will continue to engage participants in the areas ofhigh-tech & sustainable farming. Through more interactive engagements between the Singapore and Shizuoka participants, we hope that it would pave the way to more projects and collaborations in the future.

I would like to thank the presenters and facilitators from both Shizuoka and Singapore who have taken the time to prepare for a robust engagement with the participants at the breakout sessions.

Let’s put on our learning caps today and enjoy the knowledge acquisition process. I wish everyone a purposeful morning.

Thank you and Arigato Gozaimasu