2035 target for agriculture sector production: $3.9 billion
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE minister of primary resources and tourism has set the target for agriculture production at $3.9 billion by 2035.
Yang Berhormat Dato Paduka Hj Ali Hj Apong made known this new target in an interview with the Oxford Business Group that was published in its 2016 report for Brunei Darussalam.
Earlier this year during the 12th Legislative Council, the minister announced the target for agriculture production at $1 billion by 2020.
The minister said his ministry is ensuring the primary resources sector, as well as tourism, become significant contributors to the economy in line with His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam’s 2016 New Year titah.
“The target to increase output is not only for meeting domestic demand, but also for the export market,” he said.
According to the 2016 report, the 2020 targets would be nearly three times the 2015 output of $366 million while the 2035 targets would be more than 10 times the current output levels.
The minister said the targeted increase in output will be fuelled by foreign direct investments (FDI) pouring into the country over the next few years and to adopt modern farming technology.
“In order to achieve this target, we have to change the mindset of farmers and help them understand the need to increase their levels of production and productivity because they must produce to export and adopt new technologies to improve production,” he said.
“Farmers will be encouraged to downstream and add value in their products’ processing activities while local rice production output and productivity level will be improved by introducing high-yield varieties in large-scale commercial plantations which will increase farmers’ profitability, even with reduced government subsidies,” he said.
The minister explained that the outdated methods used by local farmers presented one of the biggest challenges to achieving the output targets, citing the lack of responsiveness by farmers to adopt modern farming systems as among the “limiting factors”.
“Currently, most local farmers are still using conventional or traditional ways of farming which leads to inefficient use of farmland resources and low farm productivity,” he said.
“Various schemes are being provided to farmers in order to move into modern farming systems that yield better harvests and incomes while the government also provided the necessary basic infrastructures for farmlands to help facilitate their operations and increase their productivity.”
The Oxford Business Group is an international publishing firm that produces annual reports in 32 countries, including Brunei, focusing on the economic and business reports that highlight trade with and investment opportunities in developing countries throughout the world.
The Brunei Times