Campaign connects farmers with retailers

Daniel Lim

Ghanim International Corporation continues their Buy Local Produce campaign in the Tutong and Belait districts to ensure that farmers can sell produce to retailers as markets across the nation remain closed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

The campaign, held every Tuesday and Thursday at the Pasarneka Seria and Tamu Tutong, saw 54 vendors comprising farmers from both districts gathering local produce harvested at a central location, serving as a platform for retailers to purchase.

This was following the marketplace closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Chief Executive Officer of Ghanim Dr Nur Rahman explained that the government initiative started on April 16. He said Ghanim and the Ministry of Home Affairs (MoHA) conducted the campaign to support local vendors.

Dr Nur Rahman said the local produce collected and sold to supermarkets was sourced not only from listings provided by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) but also local farmers contacting them directly to express interest in selling their produce.

Local produce collected during the campaign in the Belait District. PHOTO: DANIEL LIM

“As soon we have information on the vendors and the list of produce, we communicate with the retailers on what produce is available. They then make a purchase decision based on the demand that they have for the produce,” he noted.

He said the produce not sold to local retailers during the days the campaign is held are brought over to the Brunei Halal Store located at the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) to be sold.

Dr Nur Rahman said the initiative will last for as long as it is required to ensure local vendors are able to conduct their day to day businesses, especially with the closure of markets in the Belait and Tutong districts.

“We believe this will help the local vendors, especially the small to medium sized, as this is their livelihood. This campaign is very supportive for them and we will continue to not only conduct the campaign until the reopening of the marketplace, but also look into alternative methods for vendors to sell their produce,” he said.

Not open to the public, the Buy Local Produce campaign is an opportunity for both farmers and retailers to establish connection.