Self-sufficiency in rice production only at 4%

National 1 minute, 31 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI’s self-sufficiency in rice production was only at four per cent last year, falling short of the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources (MIPR) target of 60 per cent for 2015.

Deputy Permanent Secretary at MIPR Hjh Hasnah Hj Ibrahim yesterday said that efforts have “already been put in place” to increase rice production, including incentive schemes such as the buy-back programme, improvement to infrastructure and the adoption of advanced production technologies to bump yields and overall productivity.

Brunei has managed however, to be “sufficient” in poultry, eggs and vegetables.

 “The Department of Agriculture and Agrifood is currently spear-heading these efforts by co-coordinating with various public and private entities to employ agro-industrial research and development efforts, such as selective breeding, tissue culture and cross breeding,” she said at the third meeting of the ASEAN Plus Three Emergency Rice Reserve (APTERR) Council held at The Centrepoint Hotel.

 She claimed one of the country’s most significant efforts to achieve food security comes from creation of new rice varieties, including Laila and Titih, both of which can achieve five tonnes per hectare.

“The locally developed hybrid rice Titih can increase yields from a historical average of less than two tonnes per hectare to an average of five to six tonnes per hectare,” she said.

 Earlier in March, MIPR Minsiter Yang Berhormat Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Dato Seri Setia Hj Yahya Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Hj Bakar said that domestic production of rice increased from 1,230 metric tonnes in 2013 to 1,380 metric tonnes last year.

The goal for 60 per cent self-sufficiency was set in 2009.

APTERR was established in 2012 as a mechanism for a regional response to food shortage under emergency circumstances. This year’s meeting, which concludes today, includes the proposal for the council’s work plan and budget for 2015’s fiscal year.

 The Brunei Times