Brunei’s gross agricultural output reached an all-time high of $436.30 million last year - unadjusted for inflation. But despite record growth, the industry’s overall contribution to national GDP remains minor at just 0.54% – the lowest in ASEAN outside Singapore.
Imports still make up 53% of the vegetables, 63% fruits and over 90% of rice in the local market, while local supply of cattle and sheep meets 29% of demand.
Nine initiatives – from affordable farmland to market access – are currently in place to boost productivity. But it’s the Brunei Good Agricultural Practice (GAP) – a national certification that’s yet to receive much public attention – that could usher in a new era of quality management amongst farms nationwide, and ultimately provide some answers to how Brunei’s crops can go international.
Brunei’s DAA has struck up a partnership with local start-up Zeneco Solutions, who claims to have a solution to onboard Brunei’s smallholder farms rapidly, with the help of their mobile application Agrome IQ.
Managing your farm through your mobile
Earlier in May Agrome announced their new, Singapore-based CTO Michael Knott, who recently stated: “A lot of startups in the agritech space are focused on developing and researching new farming methods using the latest technologies, and while there is a need for that, there are not many who are looking at solutions that can be immediately adopted by the majority (of traditional farmers) that are currently operating in Southeast Asia to improve their livelihoods.”
“That’s what draws me to Agrome. They are approaching things from the smallholder farms point of view, who make up the majority, but who can’t afford to purchase the latest high-tech machinery or experiment with gadgetry. What we are looking at instead is what are the most cost-effective solutions that everyone can implement to improve their yield.”