Brunei’s agriculture industry under spotlight at Knowledge Convention

The upcoming Knowledge Convention is looking to raise the profile of opportunities to develop Brunei’s agriculture industry, especially amongst Bruneian women and youth.

24 papers on Brunei’s agricultural industry are expected to be presented and deliberated by academics, industry experts and government officials at the International Convention Centre from November 27 to 30.

Now in its 13th edition, the Knowledge Convention is held annually as part of the birthday celebrations of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam, who has recently stressed upon the importance of the development of Brunei’s agricultural sector and entrepreneurship in diversifying the economy.

The upcoming Knowledge Convention will feature a forum on its theme Agriculture sector: Survivability of the nation as well as a keynote speech by the Vice Chancellor of Univesiti Teknologi Brunei (UTB) Professor Dr Hjh Zohrah Hj Sulaiman titled “Women as the supports for the nation’s aspirations in the field of agriculture”.

Other topics that will be covered include increasing productivity through technology, farming principles in Islam, increasing GDP through agriculture and food security.

Brunei’s total agricultural output – covering livestock, crops and agrifood-related processing – was at $379.65 million in 2017, down from $385.18 million in 2016. Agricultural output has almost doubled in the Sultanate over the past decade, but the industry’s relative contribution to GDP remains minuscule, contributing 0.54% in 2017.

With the exception of chicken, Brunei currently relies substantially on imported crops and livestock.

“This is an opportunity for the public to learn more about the agriculture sector and the opportunities within it, whether it is fisheries, food or agribusiness, that they can be involved in,” said Permanent Secretary (Performance and Corporate) at the Ministry of Finance and Economy Pengiran Hjh Zety Sufina Pengiran Dato Paduka Hj Sani at a press conference on the Knowledge Convention yesterday.

Responding to the convention’s targeted outcome, Hjh Zety said they hope to encourage the participation of youth in Brunei’s agricultural industry, providing employment and growth that will ultimately increase the Sultanate’s GDP.

This year’s convention is organised by the Prime Minister’s Office in collaboration with the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism, Ministry of Finance and Economy and the Ministry of Energy, Manpower and Industry.

The Knowledge Convention will also host an exhibition until December 3 that will chart the progress of Brunei’s agricultural sector as well as showcase employment and business opportunities in agriculture from both the government and the private sector.

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