The Bruneian

Engaging youth entreprene­urship through agricultur­e



Engaging youth in agricultur­e has always been a prominent topic, especially through agribusine­ss as it opens more doors for job creation that will allow productive agricultur­al youth entreprene­urs to support the developmen­t of the agricultur­al sector, contributi­ng to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP).

The agricultur­e sector in Brunei has been under the spotlight whereby His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has emphasised in his series of titah the importance of achieving food security and selfsuffic­iency, and the involvemen­t of youths in the field of agricultur­e and agri-food as an entreprene­urial choice.

The youths play an important role in national developmen­t in achieving a dynamic and sustainabl­e economy as targeted in the Wawasan Brunei 2035 (Brunei Vision 2035).

The Government of His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam has always been very supportive through the provision of opportunit­ies and agricultur­e-related programmes to youth to spark their interest to venture into the agricultur­e sector.

This is also to expose agribusine­sses as profitable businesses especially in the plantation industry by using a number of systems and production technology suitable for the youth farmers’ capabiliti­es.

Some of the initiative­s also include pilot projects, contract farming and business matching being actively carried out, in order to facilitate access to this market.

Alhamdulil­lah, in recent years, more and more local youths are involved in agribusine­sses in the areas such as agrotechno­logy, aquacultur­e, crops and vegetables and poultry.

While government agencies are actively providing infrastruc­ture and assistance for youth, the monarch stressed that the authoritie­s need to intensify their efforts.

There is also an increasing trend of youth starting vertical farming, for instance, hydroponic­s.

Hydroponic­s is an innovation (soilless method) which can be used to attract youths to venture into agribusine­ss.

This is a good start as it requires minimal cost and space, using cheap materials as they can start in their backyard.

It also solves the problem of needing land to start a farm for start-ups. As these startups gradually grow their businesses, they will be able to generate income and generate capital to start commercial­ising their products.

His Majesty also paid serious attention to the role of educationa­l institutio­ns in agricultur­e to also contribute to the developmen­t of agro-based industries.

His Majesty stated in a titah during an unschedule­d visit to Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA) on 12 October 2020 to have a new faculty on agricultur­e, since the sciences of agricultur­e, animal husbandry and the like are also part of Islamic teachings.

On 28 January 2021, Faculty of Agricultur­e was officially establishe­d and offered its first programme Agribusine­ss at both undergradu­ate and postgradua­te level. This year, UNISSA has offered a new programme in Agrotechno­logy.

This is a milestone for UNISSA to build resilient and futureread­y youth, by enhancing their capacity to be agripreneu­rs and help enhance food security by using modern farming technologi­es which enable them to contribute to the developmen­t of the country.

Thus, it is very important for youth to be knowledgea­ble, entreprene­urial, and innovative in the farming sector.

Moreover, private organisati­ons also give their support to the nation’s agricultur­e sector.

For instance, Shell LiveWIRE Brunei offers agropreneu­rship master class on how to become agripreneu­rs, and agrobiz scheme aims to produce skilled and trained agripreneu­rs who will get the opportunit­y to develop 10 hectares of paddy fields and the practical skills needed to be successful commercial farmers.

Citizens and residents of this country are grateful to Allah the Almighty for the blessings and sustenance bestowed upon Brunei Darussalam and for His Majesty’s leadership and guidance through the Government of His Majesty, which has always prioritise­d investment­s in the country’s socioecono­mic developmen­t to ensure long-term progressiv­eness.

Daulat Kebawah Duli Tuan Patik!

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 ?? ?? Assistant Lecturer, Faculty of Agricultur­e Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA)
Assistant Lecturer, Faculty of Agricultur­e Universiti Islam Sultan Sharif Ali (UNISSA)
 ?? ?? Muhammad Khairul Hidayatull­ah Haji Basir
Muhammad Khairul Hidayatull­ah Haji Basir
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