UTB scientist represents Brunei at ASEAN S&T Fellowship in Indonesia

|     Hakim Hayat     |

INCREASING paddy production and gearing towards self-sufficiency in rice production are important goals for the agriculture and agrifood sector in the Sultanate. While climate change and soil acidity remain a challenge in achieving these goals, modern development and deployment of technology allows us to overcome hurdles and move the nation towards these aspirations.

These are the fervent belief of Assistant Professor at the School of Computing and Informatics (SCI) of Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) Dr Wida Susanty, as she seeks to leverage her expertise in Computing and Internet of Things (IoT), honed from her studies at the universities of Strathclyde and Edinburgh, to develop solutions to improve the irrigational aspects in paddy plantation.

Dr Wida Susanty has been named as one of the 17 ASEAN scientists and the only representative from Brunei to be selected for the prestigious 2019/2020 ASEAN Science and Technology Fellowship by the ASEAN Foundation with support from ASEAN, the United States (US) government through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the US Mission to ASEAN.

These fellows were selected for their track record of achievements and potential to advance evidence-based policy-making in ASEAN. She has been active in SMART research projects under ASEAN-IVO with the theme ‘SMART Environment, Smart Agriculture and Smart Disaster Management’. She is also a thrust leader for the Digital and Creativity research thrust at UTB.

According to Dr Wida, she would like to assist the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood (DAA) to formulate guidelines and understanding on how rice/paddy plantation will work better in a controlled water irrigation system, and to collaborate with the DAA in creating awareness for the communities if the country decides to embark on such solution especially on the use of science, technology and innovation in the improvement of irrigation in paddy plantation in Brunei.

The fellows commenced their one-year journey by attending orientation, participation to the ASEAN Senior Official Meeting and Capacity Development Workshop from June 23-30 in Bali, Indonesia.

The ASEAN Science and Technology (S&T) Fellowship is a partnership programme between the ASEAN Foundation, ASEAN and USAID that provides opportunities for early- and mid-career scientists from ASEAN member states to apply their knowledge and analytical skills to solving public policy challenges.

Assistant Professor at the School of Computing and Informatics (SCI) of Universiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) Dr Wida Susanty in a group photo at the ASEAN Science and Technology (S&T) Fellowship in Bali, Indonesia. – UTB