Shell LiveWIRE AgroBIZ started cash crop projects such as rockmelon, sweet corn and chili using a fertigation system to diversify farm produce while trainees await the rice harvest.
This was shared by Livewire Brunei Chairperson and Brunei Shell Petroleum In-Country Value Manager Hajah Rosita binti Haji Hassan during a Doa Kesyukuran ceremony for AgroBIZ Paddy Agropreneur Scheme’s first cohort graduates of 2019-2020 who completed a 15-month programme from July 2019 to October 2020.
Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong officiated the ceremony and presented certificates at The Garden’s Veranda in Rimba.
Deputy Minister of Education Datin Seri Paduka Dr Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh, permanent secretaries, deputy permanent secretaries, government officials and representatives from Brunei Shell Petroleum Company Sdn Bhd (BSP) were also present.
AgroBIZ started collaborating with local higher education institutions such as Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) in more than 10 research projects.
Smart Watering Management System from UTB is one such project to solve challenges farmers face.
Research results can be utilised on a commercial scale to improve the country’s rice production.
AgroBIZ also plans to obtain Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) certification for paddy production from the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood. AgroBIZ is also interested in achieving standards for organic rice crop.
AgroBIZ has seen some successes. Some trainees submitted business plans and will start businesses while two trainees were hired by Innovaero Company to provide drone farm services and one trainee will continue her studies.
Several companies were established – AgroZid Company and Golden Green which will start planting and producing rice. Econic Farm will enter a joint venture with a local company to produce organic fertiliser.
The second cohort of the AgroBIZ of 15 students started paddy planting this month.