Agrobiz’s Sembada 188 Rice was launched at the YES Centre of Institute of Brunei Technical Education (IBTE) Business centre yesterday.
The Sembada 188 Rice was produced by 10 students of the first cohort of IBTE Agro-Technology Campus (ATC). The students experienced advanced technologies of rice farming, farm management, several high-tech technologies in the fields of cultivation, preservation and production, including the use of drones, water-drilling techniques, introduction of paddy-drying methods and the processing of rice including automatic base packing.
They also underwent entrepreneurial programmes such as Bright Ideas, Serial Business Plans, Leadership Camps and visioning workshops from LiveWIRE Brunei.
Permanent Secretary (Higher Education) at the Ministry of Education Dr Haji Azman bin Ahmad launched the Sembada 188 Rice Agrobiz as the guest of honour.
Brunei Shell Petroleum Co Sdn Bhd (BSP) In-Country Value Manager and Chairperson of LiveWIRE Brunei Hajah Rosita binti Haji Hassan presented Agrobiz’s Sembada 188 Rice to IBTE Chief Executive Officer Dr Haji Mohd Zamri bin Haji Sabli.
Dr Haji Mohd Zamri underlined that the project was expected to run for three years and has been extended to five years taking into account the time to prepare the paddy plantation site. “It is expected to provide 10 cycles of paddy production and subsequently produce 100 agropreneurs to develop commercial scale farms as well as sustainable supply chain for competitive rice production,” he said.
He said the Sembada 188 variety was used for the Agrobiz Paddy Sembada 188 project. It was planted by machine and is pesticide-free. The project produced its first output which was harvested on February 18. The Sembada rice produces some 8.5 metric tonnes per hectare.
“The project intends to contribute some of the rice output of Agrobiz to families in need as part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative in the future,” he said.
Hajah Rosita said the Agrobiz Project is a collaboration between BSP through LiveWIRE Brunei with IBTE ATC under the Paddy Plantation Pilot project to increase rice production in the country.
“BSP invested over BND3 million to provide a complete ecosystem for rice production and sale of rice,” she said.
Hajah Rosita said the highest production recorded was 8.3 MT/ha on the first harvest. “Our rice is high quality, pesticide-free and strengthened with sustainable farming using natural and organic materials,” she said.
“Our tagline ‘Our Commitment to People and Planet’ is not for rice product from Agrobiz, but as an identity of the project which applied to all aspects of rice cultivation and production. The Agrobiz project prioritises the future of our young farmers while maintaining environmental harmony,” she said.
The main objective of the project is to revitalise the young farmer’s programme by adopting new approaches, especially in producing trained agropreneurs in agro-technology. The project aims to contribute towards the national strategy of ensuring food security in the country with the goal of reaching 30 per cent of its output in producing paddy by 2025.
The local Sembada 188 Rice is pesticide-free and vacuum packed.