MPRT to focus on hiking yield, not on targets in rice self-sufficiency

National 2 minutes, 13 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

THE Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) is looking to increase its rice yield per hectare every year instead of focusing on reaching certain percentages to measure the development of domestic rice production.

In a recent interview, Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong said aiming to improve domestic rice production by percentage is no longer important, as the best way to measure improvements is by “yield per hectare”.

YB Dato Hj Ali said the MPRT is looking at finding the best possible rice variety in the region that would be able to produce larger yields compared to existing ones.

The minister said Padi Pusu was found to only be able to yield around one metric tonnes per hectare, Padi Laila with four metric tonnes per hectare and Padi Titih with eight metric tonnes per hectare.

“In certain places (in the country), the BDR5 (Brunei Darussalam Rice 5) – a hybrid of Pusu and Laila – has already been planted, and that is the best the MPRT can do for now,” he said.

“We will be looking at planting the Titih variety next year and expecting to harvest them in the following year. (This variety) is capable of producing eight metric tonnes per hectare,” he added.

While waiting for the harvesting period, the minister said there will also be trials and research studies to further increase rice production in the country, hoping to find the rice varieties that could give the most yields in the region.

YB Dato Ali said the ministry had also been informed that other places in the region possess rice varieties that are capable of producing 12 metric tonnes per hectare.

“I am asking my people to go around and check these places, and also other places that could help us improve our production,” he said.

“Once we find them, the seeds will be gathered and once it is enough, we will introduce them here (in Brunei), perhaps by 2019,” he said.

YB Dato Ali said more research will also be conducted in finding the best rice varieties that can produce the highest possible yield per hectare in the country.

The minister also explained that finding the best rice variety to be planted in Brunei would also eliminate the need to cut more trees and clear land to give way for new plantations.

“The higher the yield it could produce, the better; so do not worry about others, the best is to improve by using the yield per hectare measurement, of course by utilising the technology and research,” he said.

“The same land could be used to give us more rice,” he added.

The Brunei Times