Indonesia supports Brunei’s rice self-sufficiency bid

23.03.2018

THE appropriate infrastructure, water and drainage system can help boost paddy production in Brunei, said Dr Ir I Indiarto, a Senior Advisor at the PT Biogene Plantation in Indonesia, in an interview with the Bulletin during the recent harvesting of the Sembada hybrid rice, at the Wasan Agricultural Development Area.

“We understand that Indonesia and Brunei share much in common, and we feel compelled to support the self-sufficiency programme in Brunei,” he said. “We are grateful to the Brunei Government, particularly the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, for allowing us to assist in the boosting of agricultural production, especially rice in Brunei.

“We have started three trails, and this is the last one. We began almost two years ago…and the results are six tonnes per hectare, compared to three tonnes per hectare of other rice varieties planted in the same area. The results of our hybrid varieties, Sembada B9 and Sembada 188, have doubled.

“The soil content in Brunei is very high in acid, and to overcome this, we should make continuous efforts for land improvement, which should take approximately four to five years,” he added.

“Secondly, with the availability of water and water infrastructure, as well as tunnels, we believe that this will definitely boost agricultural production in Brunei.

“In pushing ahead with land improvement, infrastructure, drainage or pond – water or rain water will not go to waste, but can be channelled to the paddy fields during drought session,” he said.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, the Sembada B9 and Sembada 188 hybrids have been identified as potential varieties for cultivation in Brunei Darussalam, to help boost the domestic rice production.

As a preliminary trial, the selection of these hybrids is based on their capability and potential high yield which can achieve 12 mt/ha/ season in parts of Indonesia.


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