Brunei opens largest rice farm to boost food self-sufficiency

Brunei Opens Largest Rice Farm To Boost Food Self-sufficiency

Brunei’s largest commercial rice farm has begun operations in Kandol in the western district of Belait, with the government targeting an annual yield of 6,000 to 8,000 tonnes of paddy by 2025 which is seen as a crucial step towards improving the country’s agricultural output and food security.

The 500-hectare rice farm located in Belait’s rural south is estimated to contribute 11 to 15 per cent of Brunei’s rice requirements once fully operational, by focusing on cultivating Brunei’s highest yielding hybrid varieties which are capable of yielding six to eight tonnes per hectare.

Rice cultivation has seen mixed fortunes over the past 20 years, with farmers tackling problems such as high soil acidity, poor irrigation infrastructure, lack of capital and competition from neighbouring countries.

Brunei’s rice production has remained relatively unchanged over the past three years, staying within the range of 1,500 tonnes annually, which is around five per cent of national rice self-sufficiency. The country continues to import more than 30,000 tonnes of rice from its ASEAN neighbours per year.

The Department of Agriculture in Brunei’ Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism said that self-sufficiency could increase to ten per cent by next year by optimising the existing 1,000 hectares being actively farmed in Brunei – only half which has access to irrigation. This includes planting new strains and expanding the capacity of the Imang Dam which supplies water to nine rice fields in Brunei-Muara.

Currently, the vast majority of locally produced paddy rice is sold to the government under a “buy-back” scheme at B$1.60 per kilogramme. The government then mills paddy into rice and sells it at B$1.15 per kilogramme to retailers to keep it competitively priced against imported rice. The government also offers a 50 per cent subsidy on commonly used fertilisers, pesticides and basic equipment.

The government said it will invest $45 million this year into new technology, farming programmes and irrigation systems to boost output, including a $3.9 million upgrade of the crucial water supply network from Imang Dam.

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Brunei’s largest commercial rice farm has begun operations in Kandol in the western district of Belait, with the government targeting an annual yield of 6,000 to 8,000 tonnes of paddy by 2025 which is seen as a crucial step towards improving the country’s agricultural output and food security. The 500-hectare rice farm located in Belait’s rural south is estimated to contribute 11 to 15 per cent of Brunei’s rice requirements once fully operational, by focusing on cultivating Brunei’s highest yielding hybrid varieties which are capable of yielding six to eight tonnes per hectare. Rice cultivation has seen mixed fortunes over...

Brunei Opens Largest Rice Farm To Boost Food Self-sufficiency

Brunei’s largest commercial rice farm has begun operations in Kandol in the western district of Belait, with the government targeting an annual yield of 6,000 to 8,000 tonnes of paddy by 2025 which is seen as a crucial step towards improving the country’s agricultural output and food security.

The 500-hectare rice farm located in Belait’s rural south is estimated to contribute 11 to 15 per cent of Brunei’s rice requirements once fully operational, by focusing on cultivating Brunei’s highest yielding hybrid varieties which are capable of yielding six to eight tonnes per hectare.

Rice cultivation has seen mixed fortunes over the past 20 years, with farmers tackling problems such as high soil acidity, poor irrigation infrastructure, lack of capital and competition from neighbouring countries.

Brunei’s rice production has remained relatively unchanged over the past three years, staying within the range of 1,500 tonnes annually, which is around five per cent of national rice self-sufficiency. The country continues to import more than 30,000 tonnes of rice from its ASEAN neighbours per year.

The Department of Agriculture in Brunei’ Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism said that self-sufficiency could increase to ten per cent by next year by optimising the existing 1,000 hectares being actively farmed in Brunei – only half which has access to irrigation. This includes planting new strains and expanding the capacity of the Imang Dam which supplies water to nine rice fields in Brunei-Muara.

Currently, the vast majority of locally produced paddy rice is sold to the government under a “buy-back” scheme at B$1.60 per kilogramme. The government then mills paddy into rice and sells it at B$1.15 per kilogramme to retailers to keep it competitively priced against imported rice. The government also offers a 50 per cent subsidy on commonly used fertilisers, pesticides and basic equipment.

The government said it will invest $45 million this year into new technology, farming programmes and irrigation systems to boost output, including a $3.9 million upgrade of the crucial water supply network from Imang Dam.

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