National standard guideline to support local organic farms

THE Department of Agriculture and Agrifood held a briefing for the ‘PBD 27:2016 Brunei Standard for Organic Farming (vegetable and fruits)’ yesterday at Simpur Hall, Horticultural Business Centre.

Present during the briefing was Acting Deputy Director of Agriculture and Agrifood Hajah Khartini binti Haji Musa. Also present at the function were members of the State Assembly, the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, teachers from secondary schools and the Institute of Brunei Technical Education, farmers and potential entrepreneurs, supermarket operators, restaurants and catering interested in marketing local vegetable and organic products.

To support the development and recognition of local organic farms, the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood has completed the preparation of the ‘PBD 27: 2016 Brunei Standard for Organic Agriculture (vegetable and fruits)’. This national standardised guideline is also an adaptation of the Asean Standard for Organic Agriculture (ASOA), of which Brunei Darussalam has been an active member since 2013.

The event began with a briefing by Mohd Izzannudin bin Haji Bujang of the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, followed by Hajah Noorlela binti DPS Haji Abdul Rahman of the National Standards Centre, Energy and Industry Department at the Prime Minister’s Office. The briefings introduced the ‘PBD 27: 2016 Brunei Standard for Organic Agriculture (vegetable and fruits)’, which aims to support the development and recognition of local organic farms.

Guests at the event. – THE DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND AGRIFOOD

The standard provides guidelines for growing plants (including mushrooms), harvesting wild plants (excluding honey), harvesting, processing, handling, storage, transportation and labelling organic products, and organic products processed for food products. This standard will serve as a basic guide for the development and management of organic farming in the country to guarantee production of quality organic products in the local market, and to facilitate export marketing, especially to Asean member countries.

The national standardised guideline is also an adaptation of the Asean Standard for Organic Agriculture (ASOA), of which Brunei Darussalam has been an active member since 2013.

Among the issues regarding the standard emphasised during the briefings were the need for crop production management, the importance of storing records for organic agricultural farms to ensure authenticity and security of organic products, and the list of permitted substances in producing organic agricultural products in Asean member countries.