Padi farmers urged to look after facilities provided
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
PADI farmers in the Brunei-Muara district were told to not be negligent with the agricultural facilities provided by the Department of Agriculture and Agribusiness (DAA), said the department’s acting assistant director.
In an interview with The Brunei Times, Saidin Namit recalled a recent incident where a padi farmer in Kg Bebuloh tried to clear farm land from vegetation by using fire.
Unbeknownst to the padi farmer, there was a recently installed irrigation pipeline underneath the land which broke due to the fire.
“These padi farmers need to be more careful when conducting their farming activities because with the fire incident, our department will be the only one responsible in fixing the broken pipeline, which will cost money and time,” he said.
Saidin added that padi farmers should also maintain other facilities such as the drainage system and the roads provided by the department, adding that some of these facilities are not well maintained as they are now covered by tall grass.
He went on to say that some padi farmers, particularly in the Wasan area, can be wasteful when it comes to the irrigation water for their fields.
Saidin said that these padi farmers would often leave the valve that supplies water to their fields open even when they do not need it, such as during the harvesting season.
“We have an officer that conducts rounds everyday at the padi plantations... to make sure that the water valves are turned off when water is not needed,” said the acting assistant director.
He said that the reason that they conduct these rounds is to ensure that there would be enough water to reach the padi plantations that are further away such as those in Kg Bebuloh and Kg Batang Perhentian.
“We need to have more cooperation from padi farmers not only in terms of preserving the agricultural facilities but also to ensure that water can be equally shared by all padi plantations,” he said.
“If this cooperation is established and strengthened then it would lessen the government expenditure in maintaining these facilities,” added Saidin.
The Brunei Times