Before officiating the harvest, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam took a closer look at several crop and livestock farms to witness the variety of methods and agricultural technology used by local entrepreneurs. The monarch also visited the Paddy Processing Centre at the Kampung Wasan Agriculture Development Area and Institute Brunei Technical Education, IBTE, Agro-Technology Campus, Wasan. Also in attendance were His Majesty's sons, His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister's Office; His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik; and His Royal Highness 'Abdul Mateen.

His Majesty first visited Ideal Multifeed Farm, IMF, Sendirian Berhad located in Kampung Bengkurong Masin. Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by Haji Awang Ahmad Morshidi bin Pehin Orang Kaya Di Gadong Seri Diraja Dato Laila Utama Haji Awang Abd Rahman, Managing Director of IMF Sendirian Berhad. The company which operates an 89 hectare farm for egg production and broiler chicken using closed and conventional coops. It is also equipped with an abattoir, and is the third largest producer for the broiler chicken industry.

The company's commercial chicken processing factory is the first to be established in the country in 1992. It has the capacity to slaughter one thousand chickens per hour.

The company which was established in 1975, produces fresh whole chicken and fresh graded eggs as well as frozen products, while Ideal Food Industries Sendirian Berhad, an affiliated Ideal company, produces value added products, such as sausages and chicken meatballs. These products are sold at the company's shop, the Ideal Meat Shop.

Ideal Affiliated Group of Companies covers Ideal Multifeed Farm Sendirian Berhad, Ideal Hatchery Sendirian Berhad, Ideal Marketing Sendirian Berhad, Ideal Food Industries Sendirian Berhad, Ideal Feed Mills Sendirian Berhad, Ideal Pharma and Constructions Sendirian Berhad. The yield of the company's broiler industry has increased from about one million eight hundred thousand in 2017 to almost two million broilers last year.

The company is the third largest producer for egg producing chicken sector in the country, using best Livestock and manufacturing practices. In ensuring both practices is carried out using standard operating procedures, strict bio-security practices are always implemented at the farm.

From IMF Sendirian Berhad, His Majesty took a closer look at the vegetable crops of Perusahaan Haji Mohd Salleh bin Haji Ludin dan Anak-Anak at Batumpu Agriculture Development Area. Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by Awang Haji Mohd Salleh bin Haji Ludin, the company's manager. Established in 2004, the enterprise farms vegetables on a seven hectare plot, using the greenhouse, fertigation and conventional systems.

Various leafy and fruit vegetables are planted, among them kangkong, cucumber and bitter gourd. The company's yield for last year increased by 5 hundred 61 metric tonnes, valued at 1 point 6 million dollars. The farm's yield is marketed at several supermarkets and wholesale markets in the country. Apart from vegetable crops, Perusahaan Haji Mohd Salleh is also involved in fruit planting at Labu Estate Agriculture Development Area, in Temburong District under Hamnan Jaya Farm with an area of 14 point 5 hectares.

After officiating the Sembada 188 Hybrid Paddy Harvest at Agriculture Development Area, His Majesty then visited the Paddy processing Centre located in the same area. Currently, the thresher services is operated by Syarikat Pertanian Tropikal Utama. Meanwhile, the paddy receiving and pouring operation into the threshing machine, packaging and sales as well as maintenance of the thresher is carried out by the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood.

The paddy thresher can thresh locally produced paddy in a quicker and more efficient manner as well as help to control the quality after harvest. The machine can produce 3 point 5 metric tonnes of rice per hour and is expected to accommodate a production of 5 thousand 8 hundred metric tonnes of rice per year. The thresher is not yet used optimally in view of the fact that the local paddy production is still at a low level. Currently, the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism is collaborating with the Ministry of Finance and Economy in the privatisation of the Wasan Paddy and Rice Processing Complex to government linked companies. Among the objectives is to ensure that the paddy factory is operating more efficiently and at the same time enhance threshing capacity as well as quality of threshed rice.

His Majesty continued the visit to the Institute of Brunei Technical Education, IBTE Wasan Agro-Technology Campus to tour the learning sites. Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Hamzah bin Haji Sulaiman, Minister of Education; and Datin Seri Paduka Doctor Hajah Romaizah binti Haji Mohd Salleh, Deputy Minister of Education. The Monarch first visited the Food Tech Unit, which is a food processing and manufacturing unit. His Majesty interacted and viewed several products that were produced by the students, including the latest product which is the Roselle Biscuit.

At the Crop Production Unit, His Majesty took a closer look at the herbs produced by students who are studying in the herb production field. His Majesty also visited the campus' greenhouse to see the planting of cucumbers and watermelons using the fertigation and hydroponics system.

The Agrobusiness exhibition was one of the cooperation efforts between IBTE and Livewire Brunei which attracted the Monarch's attention. The project, which began since the 23rd of January, provides financial assistance, infrastructure, technology and education to the students of the Agro-Technology Campus, so that they can carry paddy planting using modern and systematic methods. It was hoped that the exhibition can attract the youth's interest in the world of business and agriculture.

His Majesty then proceeded to visit the Veterinary Clinic which provides an authentic learning centre for students undertaking the HNTEC in Agro-Technology, specifically in livestock veterinary and management. The clinic provides the opportunity for students to learn all types of treatment and operations for livestock. The modules include animal anatomy and physiology. Apart from that, the students also learn the skill of turning the remains of dead animals into veterinary models for anatomy comparative learning. Students are also taught on animal disease, behaviour as well as veterinary laboratory techniques.

His Majesty took a closer look at several hydroponics systems produced by Agrometro which is managed by four IBTE graduates. Using their monthly allowances as business capital while they were studying at IBTE Agro-Technology Campus, Agrometro has successfully sold over one hundred hydroponics systems. Officially launched since last April, the company also sells seedlings including lettuce, spinach and parsley.

Before leaving the IBTE Wasan Agro-Technology Campus, His Majesty interacted with IBTE graduates who have successfully open up their own business.

His Majesty concluded the visit with a Luncheon at the Multi-Purpose Hall of IBTE Wasan Agro-Technology Campus.

His Majesty's presence at the agriculture development areas and IBTE reflects the Monarch care towards the efforts of farmers and students in developing the agriculture industry as one of the government's efforts to diversify the country's economy.

Source: Radio Television Brunei