The agricultural training centre in Sinaut is being converted into a campus for Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali’s (UNISSA) agriculture programmes.
The Sinaut Agricultural Training Centre which was under the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) will now serve as the home to several new faculties and programmes implemented by the university and cater to the needs of the Faculty of Agriculture (FP).
UNISSA Rector Dr Haji Norarfan bin Haji Zainal said that the original plan was to set up the FP at UNISSA’s new campus in Temburong District. However the implementation of the faculty could not be delayed because of “immediate needs” of more space for students and new programmes and faculties.
The centre in Sinaut will provide facilities such as administration building, lecture rooms, hostels, canteen, scientific laboratories, bungalows, and flats that will turn into hostels and multipurpose hall.
The rector added that the buildings will be upgraded in ensuring comfort and well-being of students and employees of UNISSA and arrangements are being made to have the centre fully operational by January 2022. “Several academic programmes have been planned out and will be offered within the period of five years.
“By August 2021, FP will offer academic programmes comprising Bachelor Degree, Master Degree and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in the field of agribusiness and followed with agrotech, aquaculture, horticulture, livestock farming and veterinary, “In addition, 16 new academic designations have been approved for the FP by the year 2021.
“In the near future, the FP will organise workshops that will be coordinated virtually including smart farming approach to maximise soil; soilless media and crop productivity, integrated farming techniques of fresh water prawn culture,” he said.
Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong witnessed the handover of the centre by Acting Director of Agriculture and Agrifood Hajah Masliana Yuliah binti Abdullah to Dr Haji Norarfan.