Staff members from the Public Affairs Office at the Embassy of the United States of America in Brunei Darussalam made a trip to Mukim Labi on Friday, for a better understanding of the area and to seek possible avenues of future collaboration.
The group toured the coffee and rice farms under Pertanian Tropikal Utama, owned by Yong Khian Fook. They also learnt about the process and daily operations carried out at the farm.
For US Embassy in Brunei Darussalam’s Public Affairs Officer Daniel Lee, this was his first trip to Labi, prompted by a meeting with Yong at the Society for the Management of Autism Related issues in Training, Education and Resources (SMARTER) Brunei Centre a year ago.
“I drank his coffee at SMARTER Brunei’s Washington Bakery and was very impressed,” he said, adding that discussions between them eventually led to an invitation from Yong.
Lee also noted that this visit was an opportunity to explore opportunities in further promoting Mukim Labi. “As we are continuing to bring more people here to explore and learn more about the area – and together with the efforts made to further develop the area and the nation – we hope that this visit will help to serve as a gateway for future opportunities to showcase the potential of the area in eco-tourism, as well as agriculture,” he said.
Also among the group was Pengiran Muhammad Aizat bin Pengiran Haji Yasmin, a former recipient of the Fulbright Foreign Student Programme, who earned a Master’s Degree after studying agriculture for two years in the United States.
“It is very encouraging to see the developments made, especially in food security for Brunei, which presents plenty of opportunities for people like Mr Yong, who are looking to further expand and develop the area to meet the nation’s demands,” he said.
“I hope to explore more of this area in the future. Not only does it expand my knowledge of the efforts being made, but I can also gain experience from the veterans of our nation’s agriculture sector.”