New production targets for agriculture, fisheries
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism (MPRT) has set new production targets for the agriculture and agrifood sector as well as the fisheries industry, with expectations of higher contributions towards Brunei’s gross domestic product (GDP).
According to a MPRT press statement issued yesterday to mark Farmers, Livestock Breeders and Fishermen Day 2016, the ministry aims to boost production of agriculture and agrifood as well as the fisheries sector to $1.08 billion and $681 million respectively by 2020.
For the fisheries sector, the ministry aims to achieve this target by implementing projects that are scheduled to be implemented between this year until 2020.
These projects are expected to increase production in the aquaculture and seafood processing industries, where fishery development sites are being tendered out to investors.
The aquaculture sector is projected to contribute about $404 million, seafood processing with $164 million while the remaining amount is expected to be contributed by the catch sector with $112 million.
The ministry said the fisheries sector had contributed $111 million towards the country’s GDP last year, up from $94 million in 2014.
“The fisheries sector has also provided over 5,000 jobs for local employees and locally processed fish products have penetrated markets in the United States, Australia, Japan, China, ASEAN and very soon, EU.”
Meanwhile, the ministry is focusing on the use of high technology and the optimisation of land to maximise production for the export market in the agriculture and agrifood sector.
“The application of high technologies is a priority that is insisted upon on every foreign or local investor as a precondition for the offer of agricultural sites,” the ministry said.
They added that to achieve this target, “strong and stable synergy” must be established between the government and the private sector” to boost the sultanate’s economic activities.
In view of this, the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood has identified several Agricultural Development Areas (KKP) and agricultural sites for local and foreign investors to develop.
The department has already issued five requests for proposals in projects such as the production of vegetables, flowers and ornamental plants, goat’s milk and fruits at KKPs in Tungku and Batang Mitus, with an area of over 200 hectares.
The gross production value of the agriculture and agrifood sector has also increased with last year’s output of $366.15 million compared with $357.25 million in 2014.
The Brunei Times