Fifteen students enrol in agrotechnology programme

Rokiah Mahmud

An induction for the second batch of Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) agro-technology students was held at the multi-purpose hall of IBTE Agro-Technology Campus in Kampong Wasan yesterday. It was held with support from LiveWIRE AgroBIZ and initiated by Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd (BSP).

IBTE Chief Executive Officer Dr Haji Mohd Zamri bin Haji Sabli, BSP In-Country Value Manager and Chairperson of LiveWIRE Brunei Hajah Rosita binti Haji Hassan and LiveWIRE Programme Director Pengiran Redzuan bin Pengiran Haji Abbas were present.

Fifteen students under the HNTec Agrotechnology programme of IBTE Agro-technology Campus, School of Agro-Technology and Applied Sciences that selected rice industry as their specialisation – enrolled in the AgroBIZ project that will be developing 10 hectares of paddy fields and utilising high-yield rice varieties and modern machinery to improve yield and make production more efficient. The scheme will run for 27 months until September 2022.

This is in succession from the first batch of IBTE students who have undergone the same scheme from July 2019 to October 2020.

The project aims to produce skilled and trained agropreneurs – highly skilled and knowledgeable in agriculture and business to be successful commercial farmers. The AgroBIZ project is aligned to the Government of His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s vision in building the nation’s resilience in food security and developing agriculture and future agropreneurs in the Sultanate.

Group photo during the induction programme. PHOTOS: ROKIAH MAHMUD
During the signing ceremony

Students in this programme will also be equipped with entrepreneurial skills by attending LiveWIRE training programmes such as the LiveWIRE Bright Ideas workshop, three-day Leadership Camp programme in Temburong and the Business Plan Series.

Additionally, students will have access to infrastructure and facilities including the use of drones for fertiliser spraying, organic and eco-friendly materials such as the cultivation of companion crops (sunflower or saffron) as a natural pesticide, vertical rice dryers, and harvesting rainfall to be channelled into water reservoirs. Students will also be provided with technical and commercial training conducted by local and international experts.

Meanwhile, the commercial production of rice from the first harvest earlier this year will be available for sale at the stores in IBTE Gadong and Seria YES Centres starting this week. The bags of rice come in 0.5kg, two kg and five kg sizes of locally grown, vacuum-packed and pesticide-free Sembada 188.

The LiveWIRE AgroBIZ scheme is a collaborative project between LiveWIRE Brunei and the Ministry of Education. BSP, through LiveWIRE Brunei, its entrepreneurship arm and Social Investment Flagship programme, allocated funds to support the AgroBIZ Padi Agropreneur scheme under IBTE in the development of an ecosystem to provide opportunities for young Bruneian Agropreneurs to grow and sustain their businesses.