Proudly made in Brunei
That’s the way! Ah Ha Ah Ha! I like it! Ah Ha Ah Ha! (apakan)
Click today’s news here. I just spoke on the need to improve agriculture in the country last week and guess what? The news said that Brunei will soon (hopefully next year?) see it’s first Agro Technology Park. Sound hype and sexy, I know.
According to the report, the park will have its Halal Science Centre (in view of the billion-dollar halal global market) and a Food Development Centre. A look at the Agriculture Department’s website, it says: The Park is being developed on a 263 hectare site (in Rimba). It will offer small and medium-sized and large property units in a range of specifications including laboratory and office buildings; tenants will also be given the opportunity to develop custom-made buildings on dedicated sites. The Park will create an exceptionally high quality landscaped environment which will offer attractive working conditions to international executives and their staff. Cool!
Did you guys know that Brunei once exported rubber, sago and pepper before the World War II? After the discovery of oil, most people left the industry to join in the mining as the latter offered lucrative salaries and better life conditions (I wouldn’t blame them). Agricultural production took a steep dive with only rubber and sago remained the surviving export agro-commodities after the war, but that too had ceased altogether after 1947; said the Agriculture Department.
Why would you think that I am so eager to talk about agriculture’s fate in Brunei? First of all, I think that agriculture would always be associated with the people’s economy and lifestyle. Secondly, and it is related to the first, Brunei is heavily dependent on imported foods for its own basic consumption. This really scares me, being dependent on imported food that is. Would it better if we produce our own? I already imagine, canned ambulong or sago; instant ambuyat (just add steaming hot water – of course); ready-to-wear sarongs (ops, this is out of place but yes, Brunei’s own); ready-to-eat jaring; chilled Temburong chendol; Rojak Belait; Pulut Panggang Tutong; the list goes on.
Then we have our own traditional kueh-mueh; the dry types – kuih cincin, jala, sapit and the wet ones – calak lambai; putu mayang (also claimed by the Malaysians); satay (also claimed by the Indonesians) and ketupat and many more.
I am no entrepreneur, just your normal Bruneian blogger who loves Brunei and I know that the Agriculture Department has its own Vision 2035 version with strategies and future directions. I sincerely hope that the Agro Technology Park would be a buzz with activities and not become a ghost park.