New JV to set up rose plantation
A NEW Brunei-China joint venture has been offered five hectares of land at the Tungku Agricultural Development Area (KKP Tungku) to start a rose plantation that can generate revenues of more than $1 million over five years.
Hirman Hj Abu, head of Agriculture Industry of the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, said the rose plantation is a pilot project that will conduct a study on the feasibility of setting up the rose cultivation business in Brunei.
Based on the estimated output provided by Hirman, the plantation can produce 67 metric tonnes of roses worth $1.6 million dollars over five years.
He said this will be the first rose plantation in Brunei used for commercial production.
Chief executive officer of the JV’s local partner, Billy Law of Sinar Tenaga Sdn Bhd, said the roses are of a new variety and was discovered through research by its Chinese partner, a government-linked company based in the province of Guangdong. The new variety is tentatively named Top Rose.
He added that various products can be made from the flower petals including essential oils and powders used for medicinal purposes and as additives for food, cosmetics and perfumed goods.
“In China, there are about 84 types of products that can be made from the roses (and) it is in very high demand, not only in China (but) also Thailand and Australia (therefore) the products that we can get from the roses will mostly cater to the export market,” he said.
He added that Brunei’s environment is suitable for the growth of the new variety of roses as the Top Rose prefers “hot” weather, which allows them to harvest the flowers all year round in the sultanate compared to the changing seasons of China.
“The rose bush will also last for at least 10 years and according to our estimates, the plantation will be able to produce about 12,000 kilogrammes of flowers per hectare per year, and that number will grow every year as the rose bushes mature,” he said.
The CEO went on to say that they are at the stage of constructing nurseries for the Top Rose at KKP Tungku and expect to see conclusive results for the pilot project by the end of next year.
He added that they expect minimal challenges in setting up and developing the rose plantation, but may face problems with access to raw materials such as organic fertilisers.
The Brunei Times