Agro-technology Park allotted 120 hectares
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism has tendered out 120 hectares of the Agro-technology Park (ATP) in Kg Tungku in a bid to strengthen the private sector’s participation in agriculture as well as increase agricultural productivity.
In an interview with The BruneiTimes, Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong said that 40 hectares will be designated for fruits, another 40 will be designated for vegetables and the remaining 40 will be used for dairy farming.
He said that the move will ensure faster growth in agricultural production as the private sector, including investors, will have the capability of utilising the latest farming technology and practices.
The minister said this in response to questions that were brought forth during yesterday’s afternoon meeting of the 12th Legislative Council (LegCo) session.
During the meeting, LegCo member Yang Berhormat Hj Ramli Hj Lahit questioned the primary resources and tourism minister whether the budget for the development of the horticulture industry will include research development as well as seed production of local fruits.
He said that this is due to the concern of the decrease in the budget for horticulture from 67 thousand in the previous fiscal year to 40 thousand for the 2016/2017 fiscal year.
YB Hj Ramli also queried on the allocation of more than 384 thousand budget for the Traditional Herb Research Centre (THRC) for the new fiscal year and the development of local herbal products that can be marketed for export.
In his response, YB Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong said that the new budget allocation for both the horticulture industry and the THRC is aimed at research and development efforts as the ministry’s top priority is to focus on “high productivity activities that can generate export.”
Meanwhile, the overall budget allocation for agriculture was also questioned by Yang Berhormat Hj Jumat Akim, whether it was sufficient to ensure the nation’s goal of being self sufficient.
YB Dato Hj Ali Hj Apong said that the budget for the development of the padi sector has also been included in the ministry’s special expenditures for the new fiscal year which is more than 5 million.