The total output of the agriculture and agrifood industry has grown at an average of 1 point 8-3 percent from 2015 to 2017. Meanwhile, the industry's gross output has increased from approximately 366 million dollars in 2015 to nearly 385 million dollars in 2016, but the sector's output has slipped to nearly 380 million dollars last year. The use of modern and high technology systems has steered the agriculture and agrifood industry towards positive growth and development.

For the period from 2015 to 2017, livestock industry remained as the main contributor in the agriculture and agrifood development in terms of overall local output value. The sector's contribution rose nearly 200 million dollars last year compared to 197 million dollars in 2015. The agriculture sector's contribution also climbed from 58 point 5-3 million dollars in 2015 to nearly 60 million dollars last year. Meanwhile, the agrifood industry recorded an increase from 110 million dollars in 2015 to 120 million dollars last year.

The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism in its strategic plan expected an increase in the agriculture and agrifood output from 385 million dollars in 2016 to one billion 80 million dollars by 2020. To spur the industry towards a drastic direction, the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood's strategic plan for 2016 to 2020 was created to ensure its plans are in line with the vision "Towards the Growth of Agriculture and Agrifood-based Industry Output through Export Oriented Increased Productivity and High Technology."

Among the strategies that has been and is currently being implemented by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism through the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood in raising output of focus industries under the agriculture and agrifood sector, specifically broiler chicken, vegetables, cut flowers and agrifood are: offering industrial site for commercial investors; offering additional sites for progressive and viable farmers and breeders; improve basic facilities in agricultural development areas; and introduce pilot projects by offering agricultural sites to farmers who are interested in starting agricultural activities.

Last year, 5 thousand 545 people nationwide were involved in the agriculture and agrifood sector which involved an areas of approximately 7 thousand 200 hectares. Through the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism's initiative, farmers are optimistic that the use of high and modern technology system can assist to meet the targets set by the ministry.

The use of modern technology, added with the consolidation of resources from farmers in the agriculture and agrifood industry will surely boost the industry's growth and output. This rapid growth will be achieved by stressing on increasing productivity or the use of modern technology at all agriculture and agrifood activities such as the use of closed coop, greenhouses, hydroponics system as well as fertigation system in agriculture and floriculture. The fast growing output of companies within the country through increase in productivity allows the country to be more competitive and capable of exporting products to other countries.

Source: Radio Television Brunei