Padi irrigation project will boost nat’l output: official

National 2 minutes, 0 seconds


THE scheduled completion of a padi irrigation project in Mukim Pengkalan Batu in August this year will allow farmers to carry out double cropping and boost national output, said a senior agriculture officer yesterday.

A double cropping, or biennial planting and harvesting of national rice variety, Laila, will enhance yield and ultimately help the nation achieve its target rice output, said the Head of Agriculture Engineering Services Division of the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood (DAA), Saidin Namit.

Speaking to The Brunei Times, following a briefing on the irrigation scheme for the country’s padi farmers, Saidin shared the irrigation project was in its second phase.

In June last year, DAA commissioned Integrated Environmental Consultants (IEC) Sdn Bhd to carry out consultancy services for “Professional Services for the Wasan-Bebuloh Mechanised Rice Scheme”, in a bid to improve padi irrigation in Mukim Pengkalan Batu.

The project was part of the country’s efforts to become self-sufficient in rice production.

Under the scheme, water from Imang Dam will be supplied to over 1,500 hectares of padi in Batong, Panchor Murai, Wasan, Junjongan, Limau Manis, Kuala Lurah and Bebuloh, according to a previous report.

The project — implemented in stages, with the first phase catering to 200 hectares of padi fields in Batong and 80 hectares in Kuala Lurah — will involve the laying of 11km of piping to deliver up to 24,000 cubic metres of water a day.

Six reservoirs will also be constructed to channel water to 250 hectares of padi fields in South Wasan and Bebuloh, the report added.

The second phase will supply the water needs of 360 hectares of new padi cultivation areas in Junjongan, Limau Manis and South Bebuloh.

The system of water pipes will be extended from Wasan to Junjongan and from Wasan to Panchor Murai and Batong.

South Bebuloh will also be opened up to padi cultivation. Some 41km of water pipes will be laid to deliver up to 19,000 cubic metres of water daily.

The third stage of the project will involve increasing the storage capacity of Imang Dam.

The total cost of the work was estimated at $21.7 million and will be monitored by IEC and the DAA’s Agricultural Engineering Services Division.

Yesterday’s briefing, held at the Rimba Horticulture Trading Centre, provided farmers with an update on the irrigation project. It also sought to garner feedback as well as irrigation issued faced by the farmers.

The Brunei Times