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Brunei
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    Brunei on track to achieve national rice sufficiency targets

    Hakim Hayat

    Efforts to boost Brunei’s rice production to achieve its national rice sufficiency targets are gaining momentum with the use of high-yield paddy seed varieties and the doubling of sites for commercial rice cultivation, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong said yesterday.

    He said this at a ceremony to mark the second harvest of the Sembada 188 high-yield paddy seed variety at the Kampong Wasan Agricultural Development Area (KKP).

    The minister said MSP Jaya Trading Company successfully doubled the output to about six tonnes of rice per hectare for this harvest season from its maiden season in February since it was first planted last October.

    He said the introduction of better irrigation, agro-technology and high-yield rice strains doubled the output.

    But despite the success in doubling the output, the minister stressed that they will not remain complacent and will strive to offer higher-yield paddy varieties to farmers, particularly through the Titih variety that is still in its trial phase and expected to produce up to eight tonnes per hectare.

    Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong and LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Mohimin bin Haji Johari @ Jahari harvest the Sembada 188. PHOTO: HAKIM HAYAT

    “We were supposed to introduce Titih to farmers this year but due to some issues with the lack of experts from Brunei in doubling its output, we have to fly in experts from overseas, then we can distribute the new higher-yield variety to farmers across the country in phases,” he added.

    He also said that they are also seeking higher-yield paddy varieties through research and collaboration with various parties including higher education institutions locally and abroad to get the best method of paddy farming for Brunei’s soil.

    Commenting on the second harvest of the Sembada 188 high-yield seed variety that has been used by several farmers in the KKP, the minister said more farmers will use the variety in the third season of plantation in October this year.

    He said the variety will also be introduced to the new 500-hectare agricultural development area in Kandol, Belait that has better water irrigation system.

    The minister stressed that their main focus now is to boost the yield per hectare. He said this will largely depend on the paddy variety and also good farming management and techniques which should not be neglected.

    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 graced the first cultivation of Sembada 188 last October and officiated its maiden harvest in February this year.

    During the second season of harvest ceremony yesterday, the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism used a combined harvester to signify the occasion.

    The minister later witnessed the refining process of the paddy at the Wasan Paddy and Rice Processing Complex and handed over the Sembada 188 Rice to representatives from supermarkets chosen to be the marketing agents and distributors – Soon Lee Megamart; Hua Ho Department Store; First Emporium and Supermarket; Nadi Utama Minimart and Guanin Company.

    Legislative Council (LegCo) member Yang Berhormat Haji Mohimin bin Haji Johari @ Jahari who is also the Village Head of Kampong Limau Manis; Deputy Permanent Secretary at the MPRT Haji Halidi bin Haji Mohd Salleh and Director of Agriculture and Agrifood Hajah Aidah binti Haji Mohd Hanifah were among the guests at the ceremony yesterday.

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