DR RUNDI: BRUNEI KEEN ON FOSTERING COLLAB WITH SARAWAK TO BOLSTER FOOD SECURITY | UNIVERSITI PUTRA MALAYSIA BINTULU SARAWAK CAMPUS
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DR RUNDI: BRUNEI KEEN ON FOSTERING COLLAB WITH SARAWAK TO BOLSTER FOOD SECURITY

KUCHING (Feb 29): Brunei has shown keen interest in fostering collaboration with Sarawak, particularly in the field of rice cultivation to bolster food security on both sides of the border, said Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom.

The Food Industry, Commodity, and Regional Development Minister pointed out that such collaboration can be done through the exchange of ideas and technology.

Dr Rundi said he became aware of Brunei’s interest following a recent meeting with Dato Dr Abdul Manaf Metussin, who is Brunei Darussalam Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism.

“Our discussion with Dr Abdul Manaf revolved around various agricultural matters, particularly rice cultivation. According to him, Brunei has shown significant interest in partnering with us in our endeavours here in Sarawak.

“One of the key areas we are looking at is ensuring food security, with a specific focus on rice cultivation,” he said during a press conference following a courtesy call from a Brunei delegation led by Dr Abdul Manaf at a local hotel last night.

At the event, Dr Rundi also highlighted Sarawak’s collaboration with Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) Bintulu Branch to increase rice production through the utilisation of hybrid and innovative rice seeds.

“Discussions between the parties also extended to the commercialisation of livestock products such as cattle, as Brunei has ventured into corned beef commercialisation, parallel to Sarawak’s effort in that regard,” he said.

Meanwhile, when addressing Sarawak’s low self-sufficiency level (SSL) of only 12.5 per cent for livestock, Dr Rundi said that there was also a shared recognition of the need to boost the cattle population to realise the goal of commercialising livestock products.

He also revealed that talks encompassed the development of aquaculture technology with commercialisation potential, aiming to create mutually beneficial outcomes for Brunei and Malaysia, particularly Sarawak.

Following the press conference, Dr Rundi and other dignitaries also attended a dinner with the Brunei delegation at the same venue.

Among those present were Deputy Ministers of Food Industry, Commodity, and Sarawak Regional Development, Datuk Dr Abdul Rahman Ismail and Datuk Martin Ben, as well as Ministry of Food Industry, Commodities and Sarawak Regional Development (M-FICORD) permanent secretary Sirai Daha.

Date of Input: 01/03/2024 | Updated: 01/03/2024 | lanz

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