The Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism informed on the forecast expected of sufficiency of food supply for agricultural commodities such as chicken, eggs, cattle, buffalo, sheep meat. As a whole, production for the commodities has shown a positive increase from January to July 2021 in comparison to the same period in 2020. Overall, the positive growth is a result of the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood's continuous initiatives to increase the local production with solid collaboration from the local livestock farmers to increase the capacity whether through construction of new production poultry houses, additional farm land for expansion and existing new entrepreneurs that are active in the livestock industry.
The production of broiler chicken as of July 2021 is 18,270 metric tonnes as compared to 14,608 metric tonnes in the same period as the year 2020, showing an increase of 25%. With the expansion and progress in the broiler chicken industry, it is hoped it will further increase in the production of broiler chicken to fulfil the demand and supply in the country. Aside from direct selling to the market, chicken broiler meat that is produced has also been used by the processing industry to produce sausages and nuggets by the local agrifood entrepreneurs.
For table eggs production, the country has been able to achieve a level of self-sufficiency domestically. Total production of eggs until July 2021 indicates an increase from 101 million eggs compared to 98 million eggs for the period of the same time last year, with 3.2% growth.
The Department of Agriculture and Agrifood continues to support the ease of importing live cattles and buffaloes from overseas. Since July 2021, around 12 thousand cattles and buffaloes were imported from Australia. A total of 2 thousand more cattles and buffaloes are expected to arrive early this September as well as another 1,600 cattles and buffaloes expected to arrive from Malaysia. With these live imports, the output trend for cattles and buffaloes for 2021 is expected to further increase. Production as of July 2021 is 2,565 metric tonnes compared to 919 metric tonnes in the same period as last year with an increase as much as 180 per cent.
The total production of sheep (lamb and mutton), has also increased from 108 metric tonnes compared to 18 metric tonnes in the same period as last year 2020, with a growth of six times as much, sourced from the live importation of 6,700 lambs and sheep from Australia for slaughtering by local companies.
The Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism in collaboration with relevant agencies has considered and allowed importation of frozen meats such as whole chicken, cattle, buffalo and lamb into the country. To date, 223 metric tonnes of poultry meat has been imported from Malaysia, 513 metric tonnes of cattle meat and 65 metric tonne of sheep meat has been sourced from Australia. A total of 278 metric tonnes of sheep meat is expected to arrive from Australia in the near future.
With regards to crop commodities, specifically vegetables and fruits, the local farmers have worked together to continue efforts in increasing their farm outputs to supply proportion of the domestic needs, despite a shortage in foreign labour brought about by the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic. Besides that, importation of fruits and vegetable supply still continues to fulfil the domestic demand in the country.
Source: Radio Television Brunei