File photo of a worker gathering small chilis. Image: The Bruneian

It is now a requirement for farms operating at Agriculture Development Areas (KKP) to be accredited with the Brunei Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) certification.

This is to ensure agricultural products from Brunei meet international export standards and are safe to consume.

According to Jormasita Jormasie, a representative from the Brunei GAP Secretariat, currently, only four farms in the country are officially accredited for having good agricultural practices since the certification was established in 2014.

Jormasita Jormasie (R), a representative from the Brunei GAP Secretariat, and Dr Vanessa Teo (L), the founder and CEO of Agrome IQ International. Image: Wardi Wasil
Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Ali Haji Apong (L) presenting the Brunei GAP certificate to Managing Director of Moncherry Fruit Farm Dr Joel Moncherry. Image: Wardi Wasil

Two farms; Moncherry Fruit Farms and Gropoint, were awarded certificates at the Brunei GAP certificate presentation ceremony held at the Ministry of Primary Resources and Tourism.

The Brunei GAP is a standard that is derived from the ASEAN GAP, focusing on two of the four modules that fall under the practices that are agreed upon by the regional bloc which are Food Safety and Product Quality.

“Previously, it (Brunei GAP) was a voluntary standard for farmers. This may have played a part in why farmers did not take the certificate as it was not a necessity,” she said in an interview at the sidelines of the event.

Rows of chili plants growing good yields with the implemented fertigation system at Eco Nadi’s farm in Tutong, one of the farms certified with Brunei GAP. Image: The Bruneian

Since 2018, the Brunei GAP certificate has become a requirement for farmers operating land under the purview of the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood (DAA) for both existing and new farmers.

The push towards requiring the GAP certification is to ultimately reduce the risks that are associated with food safety, especially those that can harm consumers’ health.

“Traceability is one of the most important standard practices, but most farmers in Brunei do not keep a record of their farming practices like the amount and frequency of the chemical input used on their farms”, said Jormasita.

File photo of locally grown produce consisting of pumpkin, okra, chillis, long beans and corn, among others. Image: The Bruneian

Moreover, the Brunei GAP Secretariat encourages more farmers, especially those operating on private land to register for the certificate. This is to support the state’s initiative in raising the establishment’s awareness as a means to ensure local and international consumers are confident with locally grown produce.

By adhering to the ASEAN GAP, the certificate also guarantees that local farming practices follow an international export standard, enabling local farmers to reach newer markets as Brunei’s GAP certification is recognised regionally.

A worker is seen carrying out routine rounds amongst the rows of chili plants at Eco Nadi farm, one of the farms certified with Brunei GAP. Image: The Bruneian

The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

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