An agricultural company has penetrated markets in China, Jordan, Kuwait, Singapore and Korea for Arabica and Robusta coffee products aside from producing various types of fruits and vegetables for the local market. Syarikat Pertanian Tropikal Utama operates on 19 hectares of land, producing various crops at the Rampayoh Agricultural Development Site in Mukim Labi, Belait District.
Various types of vegetables are produced by the company's farm including fruits such as pineapples and jackfruit. The farm's prominent product is its coffee crop. Awang Yong Khian Fook, owner and manager of the Tropikal Utama Agriculture farm started operations in 1995 with 14 hectares and added another 5 hectares, 5 years later. He is one of the Mukim Labi farmers who actively produces local sweet oranges, better known as Limau Labi. According to Awang Yong Khian Fook, the coffee crop has been in rotation for about 5 years and in 2017 the farm produced 12 metric tonnes. The farm aims to increase its coffee yield to 37 tonnes, with a revenue of 182 thousand dollars.
Following an outbreak of fruit tree disease, the farm changed its crop to some five thousand Arabica and Robusta coffee trees on about 7 hectares of land. Apart from some one thousand eight hundred pineapple plants of the MD2 variety, the farm also has three thousand chilli plants to add to the plant diversity. The company is also actively implementing various agricultural input such as fertilisers, chemical pesticides, and also agriculture machines. Awang Yong said the business capital is not dependent on the sales of the crops but also with a developing enterprise, Tropikal Utama Agricultural Store, selling various agricultural input materials. He is assisted by 8 local in operating the farm and enterprise.
The Department of Agriculture and Agrifood also plays a vital role by continuing collaborations with the company's manager to increase the farm's productivity in providing various programmes such as 'Contract Farming' with local supermarkets to ensure the sales of the farm's crops and also a planting schedule that will consistently produce crops. As one of the progressive farms in the Belait District, the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism urges the company's manager to cooperate with other local farmers to become the farm crops supplier to local supermarkets. The farm's manager will also collaborate with the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood to explore agriculture opportunities with high value plant commodities for the export market as well as involving more youths in venturing into the agricultural field in efforts to further develop the nation's agricultural sector.
Source: Radio Television Brunei