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29.10.18 His Majesty Launch of High Yielding Hybrid Variety Paddy Planting Ceremony


His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu'izzaddin Waddaulah Ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar 'Ali Saifuddien Sa'adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam this morning consented to officiate the High Yielding Hybrid Variety Paddy Planting Ceremony at the Wasan Agricultural Development Area, KKP Wasan in Mukim Pengkalan Batu in the Brunei-Muara District. The event was held in conjunction with His Majesty's 72nd Birthday anniversary. 

The country records yet another milestone in its effort to increase self-sufficiency in rice. Planting the High Yielding Hybrid Variety paddy is a step further in answering His Majesty's call for the formulation and implementation of a National Agriculture strategic plan and policy to ensure food security for the country's people.

Upon arrival at KKP Wasan, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was greeted by Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali bin Apong, the Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism, as well as the Permanent Secretaries and Deputy Permanent Secretaries at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism. 

Also in attendance were His Majesty's sons, His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen.

Shortly after arriving at the KKP Wasan paddy field, His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam was briefed on the development of the country's paddy industry and on increasing paddy productivity through hybrid paddy. The briefing was delivered by Dayang Khairunnisa binti Haji Omar Ali, Agronomist at the Agriculture and Agrifood Department, Lieutenant Colonel (Rtd) Awang Haji Mohd Shahlan bin Hidup, Chairman of the Koperasi Setia Kawan, (KOSEKA); and  Awang Haji Yakub bin Haji Othman, Chief of the Paddy Planting Field Project of Mukim Pengkalan Batu Consultative Council. The trend in the production of local paddy has shown a very encouraging increase. Since the last decade, the yield increased from 911 metric tonnes in 2008 to 1,527 metric tonnes in 2017. However, production decreased in 2016 and 2017 compared the previous years. This was due to a prolonged drought. 

Hybrid paddy is produced by cross-breeding two different main varieties of paddy. The cross-breeding produces the hybrid paddy which has different characteristics and produces a higher yield compared to the original variety because of the hybrid fertility phenomenon called Heterocyst.

The ceremony began with the recital 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.

After that, His Majesty was invited to plant with a paddy transplanter at the High Yielding Hybrid Variety Paddy at the KOSEKA paddy field. 

The presentation of Salawat Ibrahimiyah upon Prophet Muhammad Sallallahu Alaihi Wassalam by students of the Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Tahfiz Al-Quran Institute echoed as the Monarch planted the paddy which is known as the Padi Sembada 188.

Joining His Majesty in planting the Padi Sembada 188 were His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Malik and His Royal Highness Prince 'Abdul Mateen.

Padi Sembada 188 is a paddy variety identified from the Research Cooperation Project between the Agriculture and Agrifood Department and Indonesia's Syarikat PT. Blogene Plantation which has been implemented for three seasons that started in May 2016 and ended in March this year. Through the research it was established that Padi Sembada 188 is capable of an average yield of 5 to 6 metric tonnes per season. Also present were Cabinet Ministers, Deputy Ministers, Heads of Diplomatic Envoys and Legislative Council members.

The Padi Sembada 188 seeds were imported from the Republic of Indonesia through Yaz and Wyn Enterprise, a local company which has been appointed as the sole supplier in the country. The planting of the hybrid paddy involves a 35 hectares area manned by KOSEKA and the Mukim Pengkalan Batu Consultative Council. Last year the production of local paddy from the four districts involved a 1,300  hectares area, totalling more than 2,300 metric tonnes, while the production of local rice totalled more than 1,500 metric tonnes. 

The demand for rice which is the country's staple food will grow in tandem with population growth which average one percent a year. Planting the high yielding hybrid paddy is intended to increase the country's self-sufficiency in rice from only 6% in 2015 to around 22% by 2020.

His Majesty also consented to receive junjung ziarah by the farmers. Exploring the agriculture sector is among the country's efforts towards economic growth because it is vital to life and plays an important role in building civilisation. For a country which receives much rain and has vast unexplored land areas, exploring agriculture, especially planting paddy is a wise step towards the country's self-sufficiency requirements. Hence, all parties, in particular, the relevant government agencies should work together towards realising the country's aspiration for self-sufficiency with their own hard work.  

His Majesty then visited the IBTE Agro-Technology Campus in Kampung Wasan and toured a mini exhibition which among other things showcased a number of courses offered at the campus. The IBTE Wasan campus currently offers 10 courses, among them the NTEC in Aquaculture, food processing, as well as the HNTEC in Pharmaceutical Technician and Science Laboratory. 

His Majesty's itinerary ended with a luncheon at the IBTE Agro-Technology Campus multi-purpose hall. 

Prior to leaving the venue, His Majesty received junjung ziarah by the event's committee. 


News courtesy of Radio Televisyen Brunei
Photo courtesy of InfoFoto
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