MIPR: More in store for local rice
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
EVEN though Brunei is yet to achieve its rice self-sufficiency target (of 60 per cent in 2015), there are other developments in the area of rice (production), said Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) yesterday.
Hjh Normah Suria Hayati PJDSM DSU (Dr) Hj Mohd Jamil Al-Sufri briefed members of the Legislative Council in a dialogue between the ministry and the council representatives.
A total of 1,354 metric tonnes of local rice are produced (local production) as of the latest update in 2014.
The number, which is not yet finalised as it is missing some data, is expected to surpass the production of 2013 of 1,237 metric tonnes.
The closed door dialogue was the first of the many meetings slated between the legislative council members with the country’s respective ministries.
Such dialogues can facilitate the sharing information on the ministries’ strategic plans and initiatives.
Yesterday’s dialogue was followed by a question and answer session.
Minister of Industry and Primary Resources Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar chaired the session.
Rice self sufficiency was one of the topics discussed at the dialogue alongside Ease of Doing Business and Small and Medium enterprises (SMEs).
Rice production remained the core business of MIPR, Hjh Normah said.
For example, more padi varieties were also introduced that are more resistant and has a higher yield to be grown in Brunei.
“In addition to local padi varieties such as Laila and Pusu, we also have several varieties from Malaysia, Vietnam and Cambodia. We need to plant more variety because planting just one variety has high risks,” she said.
Latest technology also helps reduce high labour dependence while producing higher yields of quality products.
Unpredictable weather was one of the challenges in padi production.
The use of super computers to predict weather – a cooperative effort between MIPR and IBM/UBD – will help us have better control in planting for greater production yield, she said.
Also present at the dialogue Dato Paduka Hj Abd Salam Abd Momin, Clerk II to the Legislative Council as well as MIPR senior officers.
The Brunei Times