Local rice distribution network expands

Azlan Othman

The Department of Agriculture and Agrifood of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) signed a Local Rice Supply Agreement with Smart (B) Sdn Bhd and Syarikat Ampuan Mohammad Yoslan bin Ampuan Hj Akop/Yaakub & Anak Anak at its headquarters, on December 12.

One of the main goals of the agreement is to expand the sales channel for local rice and to boost paddy production among local farmers.

Signing on behalf of the department was Acting Director of Agriculture and AgriFood Hajah Masliana Yuliah binti Abdullah.

Smart (B) and Syarikat Ampuan Mohammad Yoslan bin Ampuan Hj Akop/Ya’akub & Anak-Anak were represented by General Manager Lim Kuan Yew and General Manager Ampuan Mohamad Yoslan bin Ampuan Haji Akub/Ya’akub.

The signing was witnessed by Senior Administrative Officer Pengiran Mohd Fadly Harfinie bin Pengiran Haji Mohd Kassim in his capacity as Deputy Director of Agriculture and Agrifood.

Lim Kuan Yew, Hajah Maslina Yuliah binti Abdullah, Pengiran Mohd Fadly Harfinie bin Pengiran Haji Mohd Kassim and Ampuan Mohamad Yoslan bin Ampuan Haji Akub/Ya’akub. PHOTO: AZLAN OTHMAN

Last August, the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood offered wholesalers the opportunity to purchase local rice on a contractual basis, particularly in the Belait and Temburong districts.

Both Smart (B) and Syarikat Ampuan Mohammad Yoslan bin Ampuan Hj Akop/Yaakub met the required criteria, which include having retail outlets in the two districts; experience and expertise in selling rice; access to transport services; and possessing storage facilities in good condition.

Meanwhile, the national rice production data trend continues to show a growth of 40 per cent. The output for the last 10 years increased from 1,072 metric tonnes (mt) in 2010 to 1,500mt in 2019, an increase of 428mt.

The rice production trend for 2020 is also expected to record a positive growth. As of September 2020, production increased by 912mt to 2,290mt compared to 1,378mt the same period last year, an increase of 66.2 per cent.

This progress is the result of continuing efforts by the Government 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, with the strong support of local paddy farmers, to boost the subsistence level of the country’s rice supply.