HM visits new rice farms in Batong, Panchur Murai
HIS Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam yesterday officiated at the start of rice planting at the newly-opened farmlands in Batong and Panchur Murai.
The newly-opened farmlands is part of the 620 hectares of new rice-farming areas allocated in Brunei-Muara District to realise the nation's target of 20 per cent self-sufficiency in rice this year. Upon arrival at the Batong padi fields, which measure 170 hectares, His Majesty signed a plaque to signify the start of the planting activities.
The monarch, accompanied by the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar, was given a briefing on the padi plantation activities at Batong rice fields before touring a designated compound to have a closer look at modern farming machineries used at the fields.
The Department of Agriculture and Agrifood will manage the Batong padi plantation project and it will be fully developed with the use of advanced technologies in rice cultivation.
The early stage of farming at this area would see Laila Rice being grown, while high-yield varieties of rice will be introduced and planted in due course.
Laila Rice, as reported by the DAA, is said to be able to produce three metric tonnes of rice per hectare, three times more than the previous varieties used in the Sultanate.
His Majesty then proceeded to the 200-hectare Panchur Murai rice plantation project and also toured the project, which is a collaborative effort of DAA and Landevel Sdn Bhd, a Korean company that will be providing rice farming technologies into the country.
The project is hoped to demonstrate the advancement of Korean farming technologies which could be learned and be applied by local entrepreneurs, as well as DAA.
The Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources recently informed the ongoing sixth session of the State Legislative Council meeting that over 4,900 hectares of land have been identified in all the country's four districts for the rice initiative.
The government is targeting to increase rice self-sufficiency from 2.77 per cent in 2008 to 20 per cent this year and 60 per cent in 2015.
The Brunei Times