| James Kon |
THE Department of Agriculture and Agrifood through its Agrifood Industry Division held a road show yesterday in Tutong District. The event aimed to explain the services the department can render to further develop the potential of SMEs in hope that one day they can export their products to other countries.
There are 33 SMEs involved in the agrifood industry in the district.
Representatives from the Agrifood Industry Development Unit, Post-Harvest Technology Unit, Agrifood Product Development Unit, Agrifood Service Unit, Agrifood Packaging Unit and Agrifood Incubator Unit delivered presentations on their services at the road show held at the Community Hall in Kg Serambangun, Tutong District.
According to 2013 statistics, Tutong District has a market value of $2 million for agrifood, while Brunei-Muara District has a market value of $83.6 million.
Siti Juhaidah binti Junaidi, an Agriculture Officer who is also the Acting Head of the Agrifood Industry Division, in an interview said the road show explained the services the agency can provide to help the SMEs further develop their products and market.
In her presentation on the Agrifood Industry Development Unit, she said the unit is involved in technology development in the management and manufacture of Halal food products based on agriculture, which is safe, environmentally-friendly, and of high quality.
The unit helps in the development of the agrifood industry by providing advice, technical services and the transfer of technology to farmers and entrepreneurs for post-harvest operations.
The unit also provides analysis services such as chemical, microbiology and physiochemical analyses to ensure safe consumption of fruits, she said.
Under the unit, incentives are also provided to SMEs such as the Agriculture and Agrifood Incentive Scheme (SIPA) and the rental of incubator facilities.
The incubator facility, which started six months ago to help home kitchen-based businesses to move to bigger manufacturing facilities, is attracting a good response from SMEs.
She said that numerous SMEs have benefited from the consultation and design packaging from the Agrifood Packaging Unit.
The road show was organised by the Agrifood Industry Division in cooperation with the Tutong Agriculture Development Unit.
The next road show is expected to take place in January next year in the Belait District.