| Achong Tanjong |
IN AN effort to upgrade and facilitate the operations of fisheries industry entrepreneurs, the Department of Fisheries, Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR), yesterday presented the Fisheries Assistance Scheme, in the form of new prawn crackers packaging (totalling 5,000 pieces), to the Village Consultative Council of Kg Sungai Bunga (MPK Kg Sungai Bunga).
The presentation ceremony took place yesterday at the Muara Fisheries Complex, Fisheries Department.
The chief guest and Acting Director of Fisheries, Awg Abdul Halidi bin Mohd Salleh presented the Fisheries Assistance Scheme to Awg Hj Zaini bin Hj Salleh, Head of the MPK Kg Sungai Bunga.
Also present yesterday were Puan Ranimah binti Hj A Wahab, Acting Deputy Director of the Fisheries Department; officers and staff from the Fisheries Department, as well as the Acting Village Head of Kg Sungai Bunga and members of the MPK Kg Sungai Bunga’s Women Bureau.
In his welcoming speech, the acting director said that the scheme is a form of assistance from the Fisheries Department to facilitate the operations of fisheries industry entrepreneurs in the country.
The prawn crackers packaging, he revealed, fulfils important specifications and standard requirements, while cleanliness during transportation and storage was also ensured.
The packaging also helps to keep out air pollution and bacteria during handling and at the same time can help prolong the shelf life and avoid unwanted discolorations due to less exposure to the air.
The chief guest further said that packaging plays an important role in protecting and preserving products, starting from the factory or place of production until they are purchased and kept at home by consumers or opened for consumption.
Packaging, which also provides important information of the product and its storage, may also increase the cost of production (10 to 50 per cent of the product value).
Awg Abdul Halidi hoped that the quality crackers, that emphasise taste, consistency, safe processing, cleanliness and attractive packaging, could enhance their overall production and open up new markets as well as attracting more consumers.
He added this will also enhance the economy of the country’s processing industry and at the same time help reduce the operation costs in packaging printing.
The Fisheries Assistance Scheme was designed to help the Women Bureau of MPK Kg Sungai Bunga, especially its members who attended a course with the Fisheries Department and showed their high commitment.
A similar scheme will also soon be presented to another village consultative council.
The MPK Kg Sungai Bunga’s Women Bureau was formed last year and currently has 11 members comprising the village residents.
In May this year, a total of 15 people, comprising the Women Bureau members and youths from Kg Sungai Bunga, attended a three-day course on Processing Technology of Seafood Products, Hygiene and Safety Practice System – “Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP)” – conducted by the Fisheries Department.
After the course, the MPK Kg Sungai Bunga registered to the Brunei-Muara District Office for its project of producing prawn crackers under the ‘One Village, One Product’ (1K1P) programme.
The MPK Kg Sungai Bunga has also been selected to supply prawn crackers as souvenirs for the Farmers, Fishermen and Livestock Day 2014.