Brunei’s food self-sufficiency within country's reach, says minister

Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali Apong delivers his keynote address at the conference. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, June 13 (Borneo Bulletin): Brunei is expecting to achieve 100 per cent self-sufficiency in beef, buffalo meat and chicken eggs in 2021 while the country can expect to be fully self-sufficient and chicken by 2022.

This was announced by Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali Apong said during his keynote address at the opening ceremony of the conference ‘Agricultural Sector: Challenges and Way Forward’ yesterday.

He added that the country is expected to be 70 per cent self-sufficient in mutton by this year compared to 17 per cent in 2020.

“Self-sufficiency in tropical vegetables is expected to reach 67 per cent, tropical food 46 per cent and paddy eight per cent, ” said the minister.

Held at Musyawarah Room, International Convention Centre, the minister was speaking as the guest of honour on the development of the agriculture and agrifood sector over the past 20 years.

“As we know, the oil and gas sector has become a major contributor to the country’s economy, accounting for around 60 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP).

“Agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors only contributed one per cent of the GDP while the agriculture sector only contributed 0.46 per cent of the GDP with the value of around BND86.7 million,” said Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali.

The minister said although the agricultural sector contribution to the economy is still low, the sector has shown encouraging signs of development.

The minister said, “We have seen a rapid increase in the value of gross product of the agricultural sector from BND183 million in 2000 to BND471 million in 2020. The main contributor to agricultural production is the livestock sector at 57 per cent, followed by the agrifood sector at 32 per cent and crop sector at 11 per cent.”

He said in conjunction with the seminar, a book entitled The Development of Agriculture, Agrifood and Fisheries in the Last 20 Years by the MPRT has been published to document the development and achievement of the agriculture and agrifood sectors between 2000 and 2020.

Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali said in an effort to continuously increase the agricultural sector’s output to meet the country’s needs, there has been an increase in agricultural land from 15 hectares in 2010 to 411.65 hectares in 2020. - Borneo Bulletin/ANN

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