Sunday, June 16, 2024
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New grading standard for five fresh crops

Azlan Othman

The Department of Agriculture and Agrifood (DAA) of the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) in collaboration with the National Standard Centre (NSC), Industry and Business Ecosystem Division (IBE) of the Ministry of Finance and Economy (MoFE) conducted a socialisation programme for Brunei Darussalam Standards (PBD) at Simpur Hall, Rimba Agribusiness Centre yesterday.

The objective of the socialisation was to introduce and inform the public and stakeholders on the five newly published PBD – PBD 39:2022 Brunei Standards for Sapodilla; PBD 40:2022 Brunei Standards for Cucumber; PBD 41:2022 Brunei Standards for Eggplant; PBD 42:2022 Brunei Standards for Melon and PBD 43:2022 Brunei Standards for Pumpkin.

The publication provides a basic guideline for on-farm production activities that will assure the crops’ quality and safety based on the specifications of the grading standards that have been set.

These guideline aim to enhance the competitiveness of agricultural produce from this country, in both domestic and export markets.

The standard encompasses various on-farm production activities including the definition of produce, quality, sizing, tolerances, presentation, marking or labelling, contaminants, hygiene, and sampling and analysis techniques.

Agriculture Officer Mohamad Faa’id bin Haji Mohamad Kasim, and NSC Special Duties Officer Grade II, Pengiran Abdul Shahid bin Pengiran Haji Amir Bahar at the socialisation programme. PHOTO: DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE AND AGRIFOOD

It is important to note that, this standard only covers commercial varieties of crops which are to be supplied fresh and ready to be consumed.

Agricultural produce for industrial processing is generally excluded.

In this edition, the focus of the standard is placed on sapodilla, cucumber, eggplant, melon and pumpkin. The standard guideline may also serve as a general reference and guidance for importer, exporter, agricultural extensions, farming communities, academic researchers, policymakers and also the public involved in agriculture activities.

The standard is pivotal in supporting the MPRT’s strategic planning which emphasises four key elements; growth, productivity, export and sustainability. The standard is also in line with and in support of ASEAN Economic Community’s (AEC) effort on the promotion of single market through facilitating intra and extra ASEAN trade, quality assurance and ensuring safety standard of farm produce.

The briefing was presented by Agriculture Officer Mohamad Faa’id bin Haji Mohamad Kasim, in his capacity as a member of the Technical Committee on Agricultural Crops (TCAC) and NSC Special Duties Officer Grade II Pengiran Abdul Shahid bin Pengiran Haji Amir Bahar.

It was attended by farmers, representatives from supermarkets, plant suppliers, exporters/importers, higher education institutions and also officers and staff of DAA.