Agriculture to be a hot topic

National 1 minute, 21 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE agricultural sector is expected to be a hot topic at this year's State Legislative Council meeting where at the opening, His Majesty the Sultan of Brunei stressed the need to develop the sector.

According to the National Development Plan 2007-2012, the challenges of developing this sector is due to Brunei's high dependency of imported food necessities. Increasing food production and attaining a certain standard in quality and safe food products were among the issues stated.

Hence, the issues discussed are among the goals set for the NDP for the next five years which were hoped to enhance and encourage local and global market penetration.

These are however plans, views and strategies discussed at the national level.

According to a local agri-food vendor Sinor Johari, there is a growing number of locals entering the agri-food industry, raising the need for more support and utilities.

Sinor is no stranger to the industry, starting out in her mid-teens, she has been operating her family vegetable business for over 15 years.

"One problem we face is procedures involved in setting up operations, as approval is a lengthy process. If there are problems among the ministries, please fix them to benefit local small time vendors," she said.

Every month she pays $250 for a small space. According to Sinor the area, housing another four local food vendors, is unlicensed, hence attracting the attention of public authorities.

"There are no proper small business venues in residential areas, if the government does not allow us to operate here, provide us with an area at reasonable rates," she said.

The Brunei Times