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Brunei
Friday, August 19, 2022
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Friday, August 19, 2022
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    Farmers introduced to high-yield paddy

    Azlan Othman

    The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) through the Department of Agriculture and AgriFood held a Doa Selamat and handover of the hybrid paddy Titih at Agriculture Development Area (KKP) in Wasan yesterday.

    Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin presented seedlings to three farmers from Koperasi Setia Kawan (KOSEKA) chosen for the Titih planting pilot project – Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Haji Jamaluddin bin Ghafar; PW1 Fsm (Rtd) Haji Mohamad Zain bin Abdul Ghani Psb and Staff Sargeant (Rtd) Yusrie bin Haji Latip.

    The minister also viewed a presentation on the efforts, achievements and plans of the Department of Agriculture and AgriFood in the production of hybrid paddies.

    The event was joined by paddy entrepreneurs from KOSEKA and members of Mukim Pengkalan Batu village consultative council.

    ABOVE & BELOW: Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin with ministry officers and local farmers in a group photo; and the minister presents seedlings to a farmer. PHOTOS: AZLAN OTHMAN

    Developing high-yield paddy varieties is a core strategy of the Department of Agriculture and AgriFood to enhance production.

    Titih is a collaborative project between the Department of Agriculture and Singapore’s Agri-Food and Sunland Agritech Pte Ltd. It has an average productivity yield of six to eight metric tonnes per hectare per season.

    It is potentially more productive than previous varieties, such as Laila, introduced in 2009, which has an average production of three metric tonnes per hectare per season.

    In 2018, the Sembada188 hybrid from Indonesia’s PT Biogene Plantation was introduced with a yield of five to six metric tonnes per hectare per season. It has been planted across over 490 hectares.

    Senior Plant Breeding Officer at the Department of Agriculture and AgriFood Khairunissa binti Haji Omar said that while Titih has a high-yield potential, the production of its seeds is a time-consuming process as it involves the growing and crossbreeding of parent crops to produce hybrid seeds, which are then planted for rice production.

    Khairunnisa added that the department faces the challenge of the lack of expertise in hybrid paddy breeding technology, unfavourable weather factors and acidic soil conditions, which affect the growth of Titih parent crops.

    “To ensure that Titih seeds can be supplied continuously, the deparment has offered a site of five hectares in the Batong Agricultural Development Area to Syarikat Bina LNS Sdn Bhd for a pilot project of hybrid paddy seed production,” Khairunnisa said.

    The Department of Agriculture and AgriFood is working to identify more high-yielding paddy varieties through research with regional and international institutions.

    A joint research project with China’s Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Co Ltd, started in October 2021, is exploring varieties with a potential yield of around 10 metric tonnes per hectare per season.

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