The launching of "Padi Planting Towards Self-Sufficiency in Rice Production in Negara Brunei Darussalam" yesterday was the first step in answering the call by His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam in planning and implementing the nation's strategic plan and agriculture policy to ensure food security for the citizens.
This was disclosed by Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Awg Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar in his welcoming speech at the launch.
This preliminary measure is one of several approaches including field infrastructure, particularly water channels, roads and other public amenities that will be upgraded.
Sites for agriculture development will be closely monitored, particularly for the planting of padi to ensure that entrepreneurs practise a more systematic padi planting such as planting in unison at all sites and control of plant diseases and increase the cooperation between His Majesty's government with other countries.
For a start, the project currently being carried out is in cooperation with the government of the Republic of the Philippines, said the minister.
MIPR has conducted studies on increasing the nation's rice production and through the Department of Agriculture the ministry has targeted to increase the production from 3.12 per cent in self-sufficiency (982.9 metric tonnes per year) in 2007 to 20 per cent self-sufficiency, which is 6,000 metric tonnes a year by year 2010 through the implementation of a short term plan.
The implementation of the medium term plan is hoped to achieve 60 per cent self-sufficiency (roughly 18,000 metric tonnes per year) in rice production by year 2015.
Also known as Plan A, the short term plan will begin early this year and will cover four approaches comprising opening of new agricultural sites that are identified as suitable for padi plantation, upgrade infrastructure at padi fields such as constructing main roads and water channels.
It will also use the approach of changing seeds from traditional variety to high yielding variety (HYV) that can be planted twice a year and provide courses that are related to the relevant Agriculture Department's personnel and entrepreneurs who are involved.
Meanwhile, the medium term plan that will be implemented in 2011 and run until 2015 will cover three main approaches - upgrade of infrastructure at Lot Sengkuang and Labi padi fields in the Belait District as well as Lekiun/ Perdayan and Senukoh in Tutong, planting of HYV twice a year at all fields and continue efforts to upgrade technology and human resources capabilities.
Apart from these two plans, the department has also worked out alternative action plans, which are Plan B and C to ensure the target increment of production to 20 per cent by year 2010 is achieved.
Plan B will see the opening of new sites such as Buau, Kandol, Labi Baru and Lot Sengkuang in Belait District and Limau Manis in Brunei-Muara District, as well as the planting of HYV at these sites during the main season (November 2009-February 2009).
Plan C will see plantation from April to July 2009 at the current available padi fields in all four districts.All photos are taken a day before the lounching.
Busy...doing the peperatation...
RTB personal busy doing their job done..