Local melon grower seeks compatible farmland in Telisai
BRUNEI’S sole supplier of golden melon is looking to move its farm in Sungai Petai, Labi to Telisai in Tutong in order to reap better yield from more optimal conditions.
Hj Abd Shawal Yaman, owner of Naaz Hanan Zulaikha Enterprise, was handed over the Sungai Petai plot by the government in December last year for him to enable his expansion plans.
However, the farm owner said that the location poses a threat to the quality of his melons, with flies coming in from a nearby poultry farm exposing his melons to possible plant diseases.
According to Hj Abd Shawal, he has identified a few areas in Telisai which would offer the best conditions for melon farming.
At the moment, Naaz Hanan Zulaikha Enterprise has four melon farms; one each in Lumut, Kuala Belait, Sungai Liang and Sungai Petai in Labi.
Although the melons could grow well on regular soil, Hj Abd Shawal said that farming on land that are highly suitable would allow him better yields. Hence, the need for sandy areas, preferably nearby beaches.
The move to transfer his farm out of Labi has already been pitched to the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood.
Hj Abd Shawal said that he has received favourable response from the department, who are willing to find an alternative land for him.
The Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong also visited his farm in Labi earlier this week, and said that if the company is serious about developing their farms, then his ministry is willing to assist.
Hj Abd Shawal currently grows rock melon, golden melon and honey dew which are sold at 19 major supermarkets in the country including various branches of Soon Lee Supermarket and Sin Kew Hin, as well as to a total of 14 BSP offshore vessels.
The Brunei Times