| Lyna Mohamad |
TEN Legislative Council (LegCo) members visited several agricultural sites in the Brunei-Muara District yesterday.
The visits, organised by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) aimed to brief LegCo members on the latest developments of agricultural entrepreneurship in the country.
It also sought to expose LegCo members to, systems and technologies of modern agriculture used by entrepreneurs to increase farm production as well as the participation of locals as sole or joint-venture owners.
The delegation was accompanied by Permanent Secretary at the MPRT Pengiran Haji Kamalrudzaman bin Pengiran Haji Mohd Ishak, Deputy Permanent Secretary at the MPRT Haji Halidi bin Haji Mohd Salleh, Director of Agriculture and Agrifood and senior officials at the MPRT and Department of Agriculture and Agrifood.
The delegation began their tour at Syarikat Gropoint Sdn Bhd under the Tungku Agricultural Development Area.
A joint venture between a local entrepreneur and foreign investor from Malaysia, the company is actively engaged in non-seasonal fruits plantation using the fertigation and sheltered house system.
Located on 20 hectares of land, the company employs one local and eight foreign workers and began their plantation of musk melon since January last year and produced 0.36 metric tonnes in 2018.
They then visited Syarikat RZ Prisma Enterprise, owned by Pengiran Dato Paduka Haji Abdul Rahman bin Pengiran Seri Indera Pengiran Haji Ismail, a local.
The company, located in Kilanas Agricultural Development Area, runs a high value vegetable and fruit farm on a hectare of land using the hydroponic method with seven workers on the farm including three local employees and produced 3.72 metric tonnes last year.
The delegation then visited the Asnaf Zakat Empowerment Programme (PROPAZ) Farm at the Brunei Agriculture Research Centre in Kilanas.
The programme, run by the Brunei Islamic Religious Council (MUIB) for Asnaf individuals, operates on a 1.1 hectares of land with a mission to implement resistant programme in the form of professional training and skills for participants.
Five locals are participating in the programme. The participants plant chili, vegetables and sweet corn using conventional farming methods. The programme produced 150kg of sweet corns last year.
LegCo members also visited Ameenfarm Agrotech and Trading Farm and Syarikat Norajijah Plantation Sdn Bhd in Kilanas and Batumpu Agricultural Development Area.
Ameenfarm, owned by Haji Irwandy bin Haji Lios, operates on four hectares of land. It is actively engaged in the planting of vegetables and fruits using sheltered house and fertigation systems. It produced 17.6 metric tonnes last year.
Meanwhile, Norajijah Plantation is a joint venture between a local owner and foreign investor from Malaysia and operates on two hectares and 1.3 hectares plot of land in Batumpu, Kampong Masin running a chicken hatchery farm and employs seven workers including one local staff.
The visit concluded at the paddy plantation project site run by Koperasi Setia Kawan (KOSEKA) in the Wasan Agricultural Development Area.
It operates on 186.7 hectares of land. The plantation produced 1,199.75 metric tonnes of rice last year compared to 1,069 metric tonnes in 2017.
There are 68 people actively engaged in paddy plantation.
Members of the delegation were briefed on the local paddy industry by Head of the paddy Industry Unit at the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood Khairunnisa binti Haji Omar Ali.
The LegCo members will visit agricultural areas in Belait District next week.