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Wednesday, August 17, 2022
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    Major plans for local food industry

    Rokiah Mahmud

    Vendors are showcasing their products in efforts towards enhancing economic diversification and development at the Brunei Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition 2022 (Brunei MYCE 2022) themed ‘Towards a Dynamic and Sustainable Economy’.

    Bruneihalalfoods of Ghanim International Corporation Sdn Bhd, is one of the participating vendors. Ghanim International Corporation CEO Dr Nur Rahman said the company started in 2009 with the objective of developing the Sultanate’s food industry and economy diversification as well as creating employment for locals.

    “It started with 25 products in 2016 and grew to some 150 products in the portfolio,” the
    CEO said.

    “Seventy-five products are active in the market while we are continuously developing them. We created ‘The Junction’ recently that serves as a medium for entrepreneurship development programme for locals.

    “So far, we have opened four Junctions and plan to open another 10,” he added.

    The CEO said the ‘Buying Local Produce Campaign (BLPC)’ allows the corporation to buy produce from local entrepreneurs to be sold to retailers and corporates. The system was implemented on the request of the Ministry of Finance and Economy and the Ministry of
    Home Affairs.”

    On how entrepreneurs and producers can participate in the campaign, the CEO said they can visit the company or contact the team.

    ABOVE & BELOW: Ghanim International Corporation CEO Dr Nur Rahman; and Tiah Agriculture Farm Oyster Mushroom Managing Director Jayson Tiah. PHOTOS: BAHYIAH BAKIR

    Brunei Halal products on display
    A freshly picked oyster mushroom


    The CEO also explained that there is no particular criteria set, as long as they are Bruneians as well as farm owners. “They can communicate with us to further develop their produce,” he said.

    The company also plans to increase the growth of productivity of local producers of fruits and vegetables “as we know that the food cluster is the second largest industry in the country”.

    “We are setting up our Brunei Food Industry Development (BFID) Multipurpose Manufacturing and Processing Facility of which we provide areas for cleaning and packaging facilities to increase the shelf life of products to enable producers to continue producing, while reducing wastage,” the CEO said.

    “We will also continue to market our bruneihalal products overseas. Products are available in Singapore, Dubai, Qatar and Bangladesh,” he said.

    Dr Nur added that once BFID is in operation, local SMEs can take advantage to increase their productivity, product development, research and commercially manufacture their products to be exported to the overseas market.

    “Insya Allah, our factory will be ready by August. It could serve as a game changer for our food industry, not only for Ghanim, but the SMEs. We believe it will make significant changes in the food industry in the Sultanate in terms of economic development and diversification,” he said.

    “Our aim is to produce substitutes for imported products. During the height of COVID-19 in Brunei, some shelves were empty due to the shortages of import products. As such, the initiatives will enhance our local products, to assure food security while at the same time opening up to the overseas market.”

    Apart from featuring the government-linked companies (GLC) and foreign direct investment (FDI), the exhibition also showcased local products and brands through the initiatives of Darussalam Enterprise (DARe).

    Tiah Agriculture Farm Oyster Mushroom Managing Director Jayson Tiah spoke about the background of the oyster mushroom farms managed by his family.

    “The oyster mushroom agriculture farms have been in operation for about eight years and have produced over 10 tonnes of mushrooms,” Tiah said.

    “Monthly, the harvest can reach up to one tonne. It shows a steady growth in terms of productivity. However, the produce was affected recently due to weather.

    “Due to the high demand for oyster mushroom, we are only able to supply to restaurants and department stores in the Brunei-Muara District.

    “However, we have plans to expand our market to other districts in the coming years.”

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