Sunday, March 3, 2024
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Aiming for boost in primary resources industries

James Kon

The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) through its departments will continue to implement initiatives, programmes and projects that have been and are currently being conducted, such as agricultural pilot project programmes, company expansion programmes, agriculture entrepreneurs exposure programme and local and export market facilitation programme to ensure that output from the agriculture, fisheries and forestry industries will continue to increase from year to year and contribute significantly to gross domestic product (GDP) growth.

This was shared by Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong during a Muzakarah Session between the MPRT and Legislative Council (LegCo) members yesterday.

The minister also explained the implementation of initiatives, programmes and projects toward the increase of industries in primary resources.

“The MPRT will continue to identify as well as come up with new strategies, initiatives and programmes to help and encourage farmers, ranchers, fishermen and entrepreneurs to be committed, progressive and eager to develop their businesses and farming activities,” he said. “This includes efforts to encourage entrepreneurs to adopt modern technology and techniques as well as practise good governance to continue increasing output and grow their businesses.”

On public-private partnership (PPP), Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali said, “Alhamdullilah, several projects under the PPP approach have been implemented by the ministry through its departments as an initiative towards reducing reliance on government allocations alone.”
He cited some of the projects that have been implemented, namely in the fisheries sector, the implementation of modernisation and project and redevelopment of the Muara Fish Landing Complex costing some BND14 million. The project started in January 2021 and is expected to complete by 2023.

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong. PHOTOS: MPRT
Attendees at the Muzakarah

Meanwhile, in the tourism sector, the implementation of a luxury eco-tourism resort in Kampong Perdayan costing some BND4.5 million for phase one, The Abode Resort & Spa was completed and has been in operation since the end of 2021. On the involvement of youth in agriculture and fisheries, the minister said, “In an effort towards increasing output from industries from primary resources, especially in agriculture and fisheries, the involvement of youth as the future generation who will lead current efforts are being or have been implemented is important.

“The ministry through relevant departments will continue to implement existing initiatives, in addition to continue identifying new strategies to encourage and attract youth to explore economic opportunities in the field of agriculture and fisheries.” He revealed that through the initiatives implemented thus far, several youth entrepreneurs have been active in agriculture and fisheries fields, such as through the implementation of the agriculture pilot project programme, some 109 entrepreneurs are active including 39 youth entrepreneurs.

While under the enterprise expansion programme, from 49 entrepreneurs given additional site to expand their farming activities, 19 are youth. In the fisheries industry, 11 youth are undertaking fish and shrimp farming activities in cages and pool.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali also touched on the COVID-19 outbreak affecting farm operations for several entrepreneurs. One issue is bringing in and re-entering of foreign workers in farming as well as issues related to importing materials for farms such as seeds and fertilisers.

In light of this, the MPRT through the cooperation of the authority will continue to provide assistance to entrepreneurs affected, such as facilitating and providing support to agencies to enable entrepreneurs to bring in and re-entry of foreign workforce.

On COVID-19’s impact on the tourism industry, the minister said, “The pandemic has affected the growth as well as development of tourism services in the Sultanate, following the impact of tourist arrivals.

“Therefore, the MPRT through the Tourism Development Department and Brunei Tourism Board implemented initiatives to help stimulate economic activities related to tourism services in Brunei by promoting domestic tourism campaigns and activities.

“One of them is the domestic tourism packages themed Selera Bruneiku offering local delicacies as the main attraction, community-based domestic travel packages highlighting the uniqueness as well as diversity in the local community’s culture and traditions. It also features various attractions offering experiential tours services that combine various tourism products, including new ones, and products from the consultative council members, organising various activities through the Brunei December Festival and so on.

“The initiatives will continue for the rest of the year and Alhamdulillah, the launching of the tourism packages for the four districts was completed last week.”

Permanent Secretary at the MPRT Hajah Tutiaty binti Haji Abdul Wahab, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the MPRT Haji Mohd Yusree bin Haji Junaidi, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the MPRT Hajah Dahliana binti Haji Aliakbar, heads of departments and officers from the ministry were also present.

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