| Daniel Lim |
FARMERS and agribusiness players have continuously pushed for the formation of the National Farmers’ Organisation (PPN), a body representing farmers throughout the country, in an effort to help develop farming nationwide.
In an interview with the Bulletin, Haji Syawal bin Haji Yaman, Pro Tem Chairman of PPN, said that they have filed their application to the Registrar of Societies (ROS) for an official PPN in February 2017, about a year ago, but are yet to receive a reply from the registrar.
“We have gathered the support of more than 200 pro tem members and 40 pro tem committee members to get this body established, hopefully soon, so that we can have a proper forum to help further develop the local agriculture industry,” he said.
He said this is an important step in support of the call of 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 for Brunei to have food self-sufficiency through the development of the agriculture sector.
He also explained the background of the PPN, noting that among the objectives of the formation of the organisation was to help lead and support farmers.
“By creating a dedicated organisation representing the needs of the agriculture industry, we can rally a strong movement that can actively engage with industry players based on a common interest and further accelerate the development of farmers in the country.”
PPN also has a proposal to implement a ‘Short Term Corporate Plan (1-2)’, Haji Syawal added. The proposal will provide up-to-date information on investment opportunities at all levels of Brunei’s agriculture supply chain, with the aim of attracting and convincing investors to invest in the country’s agriculture sector.
“This can potentially help strengthen the agriculture market and infrastructure in the country, which can lead to the establishment of new market channel giving Brunei a strategic advantage in major markets,” he explained.
Haji Syawal noted that the PPN’s pro tem members had met with various agencies who expressed interest in providing the training to properly implement the proposal, as well as in field management and agricultural skills, to help farmers participate in various international exhibitions to promote Brunei’s agriculture and agrifood products.
“This collaboration would give the farmers more research and consultation opportunities with academic staff who can potentially help increase the export performance of the agricultural sector and food supply. This will ultimately gain recognition for the country in terms of its agricultural capabilities,” he said.
“We hope that approval for the proposed National Farmers’ Organisation will not be delayed any further as the agriculture sector has long been an area in our economy in much need of development as emphasised by His Majesty,” Haji Syawal said.