BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN, Sept. 15 (Xinhua) -- Efforts to boost Brunei's rice production to achieve its national rice sufficiency targets are gaining momentum with the use of high-yielding rice strains and the doubling of sites for commercial rice cultivation, local media reported on Sunday, quoting Brunei's Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Haji Ali.
According to the Borneo Bulletin, the minister said at a ceremony to mark the second harvest of the "Sembada (188)" high-yielding strain that a local company has successfully doubled the output to about six tonnes of rice per hectare for this harvest season from its maiden season in February since it was first planted last October.
Despite the success in doubling the output, the minister said that they are seeking more higher-yielding paddy varieties through research and collaboration with various parties including higher education institutions locally and abroad to get the best method of paddy farming for Brunei's soil.
He told Xinhua in July this year that the Brunei government is currently collaborating with a China-based institution, Yuan Longping High-Tech Agriculture Co Ltd, to come up with a hybrid that can produce an even higher yield. Yuan Longping is a world-known award-winning rice scientist dubbed "the father of hybrid rice."
According to the report, Brunei's Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah participated in the first cultivation of "Sembada (188)" last October and officiated its maiden harvest in February this year.