LegCo members visit Tutong farms

Lyna Mohamad

The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) concluded its series of visits for members of the Brunei Legislative Council (LegCo) with a visit to several agricultural sites in the Tutong District yesterday.

It was a continuation of previous two visits organised by MPRT to share and enlighten the LegCo members on the latest development and achievement of entrepreneurship activities related to the agriculture, fisheries and tourism industries in the country.

The programme served to expose LegCo members to modern farming techniques and the technologies used to increase productivity, involvement of locals as private owners or joint-venture with foreign entrepreneurs and job opportunities for locals. Joining the delegation, comprising 14 LegCo members, were Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong and Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism Pengiran Haji Kamalrudzaman bin Pengiran Haji Mohd Ishak.

Also part of the ministry’s delegation were Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism Hajah Tutiaty binti Haji Abdul Wahab, Director of Agriculture and Agrifood as well as several senior officers from the ministry and the departments under it.

The delegation first visited the PDS Abattoir Sdn Bhd farm in Batang Mitus Agricultural Development Site (KKP) in the Tutong District.

PDS Abattoir began operating in 1998 on a two-acre site for the slaughter of livestock breed and as a processing centre for livestock based products. In 2019, the company was authorised to operate on a 55-acre site to breed cows using a feedlot system. It is currently building barns for cows and is expected to begin operation middle of this year.

The farm can accommodate 6,000 to 7,000 cows per year for five years from its first operation and is expected to increase to 8,000 to 10,000 from the sixth year onwards.

ABOVE & BELOW: Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong during the visit; and the minister in a group photo. PHOTOS: MPRT

In 2018, the current farm produced 3,469 cows and 3,461 cows last year. The company has 72 workers and 34 are locals.

From PDS Abattoir, the LegCo members visited the Bindaud Nursery Sdn Bhd run by Haji Mohd Iskandar bin Haji Mohd Daud and partners on a 20 hectare plantation of mainly durian and unseasonal fruits such as bananas and pineapple as a side plantation.

It began operation in 2018 and employs two foreign workers. The production of unseasonal fruits is expected to increase while the plantation of durian is expected to bear produce in the next five to six years.

The delegation proceeded to LTS Real Estate & Development Sdn Bhd managed by Mohd Louis bin Abdullah @ Louis Lim Kim Huat and partners on a 10 hectare piece of land in Birau Agricultural Development Site with plantation activities including durian and several unseasonal fruits.

Yesterday’s visit continues with visits to Syarikat Nature Fruit Farm, Syarikat Mori Farm, Syarikat Oregano Sdn Bhd in Sinaut Agricultural Development Site.

Nature Fruit Farm operates on a 10 hectare land planting various fruits such as durian, jackfruit, dragon fruit, banana and others. It is managed by Chok Kon Voo and Vincent Sui Chai Seng.

It began operations in 2017 and has produced about 4,200kg of fruits in 2018 and increased to 21,200kg in 2019. Mori Farm operates on a three hectare and is managed by Lim Jung Hoon with several plantations such as Moringa, lemongrass and others. It began operation in 2016 and has also seen a rise in production with 1,800kg in 2018 to about 3,950kg in 2019.

The company sells produce to local supermarkets.

Oregano is managed by Ambrose Shim Fui Shen on a two hectare land planting vegetables using green house and organic systems as well as non-seasonal fruits. The farm production has increased from 40kg in 2018 to about 1,500kg in 2019.

The visit concluded with the ministry holding a feedback session with the LegCo members to get reviews, opinions and suggestions on the development of the agriculture, fisheries and tourism industries in the country.