| Hakim Hayat |
AN ARBORETUM centre, home to a vast variety of local fruits in Kampong Pedayan in the Temburong District has the potential to become a new attraction for tourists and local fruit lovers, apart from being a research station to study local fruit varieties, Legislative Council (LegCo) member and Penghulu of Mukim Bokok Yang Berhormat Haji Emran bin Haji Sabtu said during the fifth day of the 15th LegCo session yesterday.
The LegCo member said that the centre, which has been a research ground for local fruits such as tampoi, rambai, surapit and different durian varieties such as durian kuning, udang galah and suluk should be preserved to ensure that the fruit varieties do not face extinction.
He asked if there are any possibilities to offer the area to interested parties to be maintained or as a new tourist destination for Temburong.
In his response, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Haji Apong said the Kampong Pedayan’s 59-hectare area gazetted for agricultural development, including 24 hectares for the arboretum was taken over by the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood over two decades ago from a private firm who planted the trees in the area.
“The centre’s objective is to generate a collection of local fruits as a source for research, information and education and in preserving the biodiversity of local fruits and its botanical heritage.
“The station is an arboretum centre that collects gene plasmas of domestic and outside fruits and preserves the source and diversity of the fruits’ genetic source for research.”
The minister added that prior to this, the centre has welcome a lot of visitors such as tourists and was also a venue for youth camping activities. It currently houses a collection of 2,100 trees from 77 different fruit types from 18 families, he disclosed.
The minister said there are plans to preserve the functions of the centre and to offer a part of the area to interested parties for further development.