His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam this morning officiated the Harvest of the High Yielding Hybrid Sembada 188 Paddy Variety at the Wasan Agricultural Development Area, KKP Wasan in Mukim Pengkalan Batu. The High Yielding Hybrid Paddy was first planted in October last year and is one of the measures taken by the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism in response to His Majesty’s Titah in formulating and implementing the National Agriculture Strategic Plan and Policy to ensure food security for the country’s people.

Upon arrival, His Majesty was greeted by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism; Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Haji Awang Abdul Mokti bin Haji Mohd Daud, the Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office; Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Doctor Awang Haji Mohd Amin Liew bin Abdullah, Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister of Finance and Economy; Permanent Secretaries and Deputy Permanent Secretaries at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.

Accompanying His Majesty 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 Prince ‘Abdul Mateen.

Shortly after arriving at the KKP Kampung Wasan paddy plantation, His Majesty was briefed on the development of the planting of Sembada 188 Paddy variety and the Agriculture and Agrifood Incentive Scheme which was established to encourage local residents to engage in the agricultural sector. The briefing was delivered by Dayang Khairunnisa binti Haji Omar Ali, Head of Paddy and Crop Protection Division, Agriculture and Agrifood Department. Meanwhile, there was also a briefing on the progress of the Deepening and Upgrading of the Imang Dam which would increase its capacity by 10 percent or around one million cubic metre of water to supply argicultural areas and the Underground Water Exploration Project intended to address the irrigation problem of areas still without complete irrigation system, as well as the Opening of the Kandol Area For Paddy Planting Project. The briefing was delivered by Awang Saidin bin Namit, the Head of Agricultural Engineering Service Division. The briefing on the development of the Commercial Paddy Production Project in Kampung Panchur Murai ‘A’ and ‘B’ was delivered by the Awang Ezwyn bin Haji Bakar, the Manager of Yaz and Wyn Enterprise.

His Majesty then consented to receive a Pasambah from the Minister Primary Resources and Tourism.

The ceremony began with the reading of Surah Al-Fatihah and Doa Selamat by Yang Berhormat Pehin Datu Seri Maharaja Dato Paduka Seri Setia Dr Ustaz Haji Awang Abdul Aziz bin Juned, the State Mufti.

His Majesty then delivered the brief titah to officiate the Harvest of the Hybrid Sembada 188 Paddy variety.

His Majesty was then graciously invited to Officiate and lead the harvesting of the paddy at the Setia Kawan Cooperative Plantation, KOSEKA, using a ‘Jentuai’ or combined harvester.

Tausyeh Syukur performed by students of Seri Begawan Religious Teachers Univesity College, KUPU SB, accompanied the Monarch during the harvesting of the paddy. The hybrid Sembada 188 paddy ripens within a period of around 110 days.

Also harvesting the paddy was His Royal Highness Prince Haji Al-Muhtadee Billah, the Crown Prince and Senior Minister at the Prime Minister’s Office.

The planting of the hybrid paddy involved a 38.2 hectares site manned by 21 KOSEKA and Mukim Pengkalan Batu Consultative Council members. A task force was formed by the Agriculture and Agrifood Department to monitor the planting of the said paddy variety and assist the entrepreneurs in facing challenges especially in the aspect of protecting the paddy crop.

The High Yielding Hybrid Sembada 188 Paddy Variety is one of the varities identified from the joint study project between the Agriculture and Agrifood Department with Indonesia’s Syarikat PT. BIOGENE Plantation, which was implemented for 3 seasons that started in May 2016 and ended in March last year. The study showed the Sembada188 produces an average of 5 to 6 metric tonnes per hectare in one season. Also present were Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Members of the Legislative Council.

In 2017, the production of local paddy in the four districts which involved more than one thousand and three hundred hectares, totalled more than two thousand and three hundred metric tonnes, while the production of local rice totalled more than one thousand and five hundred metric tonnes.

Before visiting the Paddy Processing Centre at the Wasan Agricultural Development Area, His Majesty consented to receive Junjung Ziarah from the farmers. His Majesty has stressed that exploring the agricultural sector, especially paddy planting is a wise step towards the country’s self-sufficiency. Hence, the Monarch calls on all parties, especially the relevant government agencies to work together towards achieving the country’s aspiration for self-sufficiency through hard work.

The High Yielding Hybrid Sembada 188 Paddy Variety is hoped to further increase the country’s self-sufficiency in rice from only around six percent in 2015 to around 22 percent next year. The measure show the country’s determination to further raise self-sufficiency in local rice. His Majesty’s willingness to practically come down to the field to harvest the paddy is clear proof of that determination.

Source: Radio Television Brunei