Agro-Tech Park to reopen by 2020
THE Agro-Technology Park (ATP) in Tungku is expected to become a fully operational agricultural park by 2020, said a senior officer from the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood.
The DAA aims to transform the ATP from a recreational park to a more productive and sustainable area that can contribute to the growth of the sultanate’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Hirman Hj Abu, the Head of the Agriculture Industry Division of the DAA said the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism has “clear concepts and plans” for the development of the ATP area, which is now referred to as the Tungku Agriculture Development Area (KKP Tungku).
Previously, the KKP Tungku area was temporary closed from June 6 onwards to “make way for development projects focused on increasing production of agriculture and agrifood products”.
“Contrary to what is perceived by the public, that the area is being abandoned since the temporary closure, KKP Tungku area will be used for the production of high value agricultural products with high productivity (and) geared towards the export market,” he said in an interview with The Brunei Times.
He added that once the agricultural park is in full operation, hopefully it will feature innovative companies applying various modern technologies in agriculture and agrifood, which will be made public for viewing and for learning purposes.
Currently, over 150 hectares of the overall 230 hectare KKP Tungku area are being tendered out through Request for Proposals (RFPs) for high value crops, vegetables and high value ornamental plants production.
According to Hirman, 70 hectares have been allocated for high value crops production, 40 hectares each for vegetables and dairy goat production and more than one hectare for high value ornamental plants production.
The remaining hectares, he said, will be used to carry out more RFPs and pilot projects in the coming future.
So far, only vegetable production has gone through its second phase of assessment with an end result of 25 potential investors consisting of both foreign and local entrepreneurs.
Meanwhile, the RFP for high value ornamental plants had just completed its first phase of assessment and is now entering its second phase, high value crop production has only just begun to enter its first phase of evaluation while the RFP for dairy goat production is still being advertised with the closing participation date being December 6.
“All projects will commence immediately after being awarded (however) it is necessary to understand that each company and RFPs site would require a setting up duration before full operation,” he added.
Hirman then said that potential investors must meet various regulations and requirement by different agencies ranging from Environmental Impact Assessments to hiring workforce and including the arrival of imported technologies and plant sources.
“They must meet various regulations and requirement by different agencies ranging from Environmental Impact Assessments to hiring workforce and including the arrival of imported technologies and plant sources which will require time,” he said.
“KKP Tungku will be reopened to the public once the area is fully developed and is considered safe for visitors due to the construction work brought on by the agricultural projects,” he added.
The Brunei Times