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Brunei’s efforts are already in place to increase rice production through various incentive schemes, such as buy-back programmes, improvement of infrastructures and others, according to Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources
Deputy permanent secretary at the ministry Hajah Hasnah binti Haji Ibrahim said that the self-sufficiency level in rice production in 2014 was four per cent. He added that the department of agriculture and AgriFood has been already spearheading the efforts by coordinating with various public and private entities to employ agro-industrial research and development efforts, such as selective breeding, tissue culture and cross breeding.
“One of the most significant results of these efforts in terms of food security is the development and cultivation of new, more productive rice varieties.”
The first successful project in the southeast Asian nation was the local Laila rice variety, which was first introduced in April 2009 and could yield as much as five tonnes per hectare, according to the department. This was later followed by another locally developed hybrid rice Titih, which could increase yields from an average of less than two tonnes per hectare to an average of five to six tonnes per hectare.
Haji Ibrahim also revealed that the agriculture is relatively small compared to those in other Asean member countries and the country has put the agriculture and fisheries sectors as leading sectors in achieving a comfortable level of self-sufficiency in food production.
The availability and accessibility of edible foods also fits into the country’s national development plan of Vision 2035, the deputy secretary noted.