LiveWIRE, IBTE ink deal for development of agropreneurs

|     Lyna Mohamad     |

A MEMORANDUM of Understanding (MoU) that aims to support the development of agropreneurs in Brunei Darussalam was officially inked between LiveWIRE Brunei and the Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) yesterday.

The signing ceremony at the multipurpose hall of the IBTE Agro-Technology Campus in Kampong Wasan was witnessed by Acting Minister of Education and the IBTE Board of Governors Chairperson Datin Seri Paduka Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh, who was the guest of honour.

Ambassadors from several ASEAN member countries, permanent secretaries and deputy permanent secretaries from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, directors, managers and senior officers from several government agencies, Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) leaders and community leaders were also present.

The MoU is the first step towards the implementation of the LiveWIRE Agrobiz Paddy Agropreneur, which aims to provide training opportunities for Brunei Agropreneur and thus contribute to the national strategy on food security towards self-sufficiency in rice production to 30 per cent by 2025.

BSP’s Social Investment programme through LiveWIRE Brunei will fund the scheme with a total investment amounting to about BND1.65 million covering everything from field maintenance to the deployment of new technology.

Acting Minister of Education and the IBTE Board of Governors Chairperson Datin Seri Paduka Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh and Managing Director of Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) Company Sdn Bhd Dr Ceri Powell in a group photo. – LYNA MOHAMAD

The AgroBiz project will run for a period of three-and-a-half years or six cycles of planting seasons, during which the selected participants will be trained by subject matter experts in various fields which include entrepreneurship and commercial farm management.

The first planting cycle will begin in October and will be managed by around 15 students under the supervision of an appointed project manager. Upon completion of the programme, participants will have the opportunity to secure LiveWIRE Business Award Start-Up Funding, which is an interest free-funding scheme, to start their own businesses.

A Social Investment flagship of BSP, LiveWIRE Brunei aims to groom and mentor current and future entrepreneurs, while this is one of BSP’s commitments towards nurturing and developing local business competencies, capabilities and competitiveness in particular for the long-term sustainability of Brunei Darussalam’s private sector economy.

Agriculture is one of BSP’s many Social Investment initiatives which support the goals of Brunei Vision 2035. LiveWIRE AgroBiz, on the other hand, was initiated as part of the LiveWIRE Brunei expansion programme into the Energy Solutions and Agriculture sector.