| James Kon |
THE first phase of the infrastructure construction for the 500-hectare rice field at Kandol in the Belait District began last Thursday, with a Doa Selamat at the site.
Expected to be completed within five months at a cost of BND6,440,000, the scope of work includes drainage and irrigation, road work, domestic water supply and power supply.
Among those present to witness the commencement of the construction works were Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong, Minister of Development Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Suhaimi bin Haji Gafar, Acting Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II Dato Seri Paduka Dr Haji Abdul Manaf bin Haji Metussin, Deputy Minister of Development Dato Seri Paduka Haji Marzuke bin Haji Mohsin; and Legislative Council member and Penghulu of Mukim Liang Yang Berhormat Haji Abdul Hamid bin Haji Mumin.
The opening of the Kandol area is in accordance with 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’s titah during the official opening of the Knowledge Convention on November 27, 2018, whereby His Majesty consented to the opening of the 500-hectare area in Kandol for rice cultivation.
The project was opened to government-linked company (GLC) Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd to manage a large-scale rice field with joint venture/technical consultant partners identified through the Request for Proposal (RFP) process.
Among the criteria in the process of selecting joint venture partners/technical consultants were company expertise to ensure a boost in rice production, technical knowledge-sharing and skills transfer to local workers, and the use of modern technology in agriculture.
So far, several proposals have been received by Darussalam Assets Sdn Bhd, which are undergoing evaluation before the finalisation of the joint venture/technical consultant selection process in the third quarter of this year.
Several committees have been established, namely the executive committee for the Kandol commercial rice field project chaired by the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Minister of Finance and Economy II, and the Minister of Development; the technical and infrastructure committee chaired by the Deputy Minister of Development; and the operation and investment committee chaired by the Deputy Minister of Finance and Economy.
Following the Doa Selamat read by State Mufti’s Office religious officer Haji Martino @Abdul Azim bin Haji Ahmad, the Cabinet Ministers, as well as the project committee members and invited guests toured the site.
Permanent secretaries and deputy permanent secretaries, as well as senior officers from various ministries, mukim penghulus and village heads from the surroundings areas were also present.