‘We need to instill a passion for agriculture’

Azlan Othman

A number of local employees quit their farming job in less than two months. Some even reject the offer after reporting for duty, said RZ Prisma Managing Director Dato Haji Abdul Rahman bin Pengiran Seri Indera Haji Ismail.

He made these comments at the panel discussion on ‘Roles of Education in Supporting Agricultural Sector’ at the Brunei Darussalam Conference on ‘Agricultural Sector: Challenges and Way Forward’ at the International Convention Centre yesterday as part of the Mid-Year Conference and Exhibition (MYCE).

Dato Haji Abdul Rahman also said local farm turnover is quite high.

“This is where we need to change their mindset by instilling a passion for agriculture. One way is to start them at an early age through extra-curricular activities in agriculture-related fields,” he said, adding that highly skilled-students are difficult to find.

Dato Haji Abdul Rahman said colleges should introduce commercial farming courses, regular on-the-job training and train students with partners in commercial organisations.

He also raised the challenges that farmers faced in promoting agriculture such as difficulty in securing highly-skilled local employees, moving from farming as a way of life to a business venture and the ability to manage a large-scale farm and agri business, and the capacity to improve farmers’ skills.