Support efforts towards self-sufficiency, farmers told
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
LOCAL farmers have been advised to have a properly devised plan to help the advancements of the Suburban Agricultural Development Farms (KPLB), in order for Brunei to be less reliant on imported fruits in the future.
The director of Brunei Industrial Development Authority (BINA) Pg Sharifuddin Pg Hj Metali said: "Strong support for the KPLB is necessary as we need to help Brunei to be self-sufficient in fruit production. We cannot keep relying on imported goods. It would also benefit local economy."
Speaking during a dialogue session with farmers from Tutong District yesterday, Pg Sharifuddin also urged them to make full use of the session with the relevant government agencies to clear any doubts that they might have.
"We as a member of the committee of KPLB will always be there to offer assistance and help," the director said.
Also present during the session to clarify some issues brought up by the farmers were Assistant Director of Agriculture Hj Sufri Abdullah, Officer at Tutong's Agriculture Unit Khairuddin Hj Metali and the senior officer at Tutong's Lands Department Hamdani Hj Masri.
A spokesperson from BINA who wished to remain anonymous added that the issues farmers are facing are mostly regarding their fields like infrastructure, rent and other related issues."BINA hopes that by facilitating this dialogue session, they can help Tutong farmers resolve all their issues," he said.
He also reminded farmers not to explore land without permission from relevant authorities or to conduct open burning as that would affect the environment and climate.
KPLB is a communal farm established in 1990. It is a project of Agriculture Department involving a total area of 77.68 hectares.
To date a total of 18 corporations come under KPLB, out of which five are from Tutong District.
Some 40,000 local fruit trees of various kinds such as kembayau, langsat, various type of durian and mambangan, to name a few, have been planted in the communal farms.
Brunei's fruit production is still at a low level and far from being self-sufficient as 77 per cent or 14,322 metric tonnes of total fruits last year, worth approximately $35 million, were imported. (GDN1)
The Brunei Times