‘Youth interested in padi planting’

National 1 minute, 50 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THERE is an increasing interest in planting padi among the youth but more encouragement is needed for them to venture into the fields.

An owner of a padi field in the Tutong District said that there is a big possibility more youths will take up padi planting in the next five to 10 years.

Hj Abd Mutalif Hj Abd Ghani hosted a visit by the participants of the eighth Brunei Singapore Student Leaders Adventure Camp 2014 (BSAC) at his farm to take part in some activities on the padi field yesterday.

He also hosted some youths from the Royal Brunei Armed Forces a few days ago.

The 54-year-old said that the two groups showed enthusiasm and interest in farming, but suggested that it was still too early to predict if their interest will turn into something concrete.

“Maybe if they showed interest and the opportunity is presented to them... if they have a suitable land, it will encourage more (youths to become) local farmers.”

This was echoed by one of the local participants, Ak Mohamed Zulhilmi Pg Abd Halim, who said that he would plant padi if he was given the opportunity.

“Honestly at the beginning I wasn’t interested in planting padi. I thought there would be leeches (in the mud), but once I stepped inside the mud, I got the strength and motivation to farm the padi,” the 16-year-old Rimba Secondary School student said.

Michael Joshua Zornig Clark, a student from Singapore’s Temasek Secondary School, said they do not have the opportunity to plant padi in Singapore and that he enjoyed the experience.

The 15-year-old told The Brunei Times that he is involved in a volunteer group – the Group Up Initiative back in Singapore – where they build gardens and try to structure an area as a natural reserve for the different species of plants.

Another Singaporean student, Irwyn Haikel, said he wasn’t interested in venturing into farming but admitted the experience has given him a a new found appreciation for farmers.

“I really salute them (for planting padi) because they keep going at it daily even though it is a difficult job,” said the 15-year-old student from Bedok View Secondary School.

The Brunei Times