Brunei-grown Seolhyang strawberries may soon be available in supermarkets near you as South Korean – Brunei joint venture Berry Good prepares for commercialisation by this year, following the near completion of its research and development phase.
The Seolhyang strawberry is a variety that was developed in South Korea, producing fruits that are bigger, sweeter and more fragrant than its regular counterpart.
Berry Good is determined to introduce the delicious Brunei-grown fruit into the regional market, with the sultanate as its hub.
The strawberries were initially set for the domestic market in 2019 but had to postpone its commercialisation to conduct further research and development, as the first commercial harvest did not meet the specific standards set by the company.
“We had to conduct a few trials because the strawberries did not meet the size that we need or the level of sweetness that we were looking for,” said Berry Good’s General Director Eddy Choi in an interview with The Bruneian.
With their eighth planting cycle nearing its end, Eddie noted how the strawberry harvests have achieved the right size, fragrance and level of juiciness suitable for the market; however its sweetness still needed to be improved.
“What we need to work on now is the level of sweetness, to make it stronger and I’m sure we can achieve that by next year, in time for commercialisation,” added Choi.
Located at the Agricultural Development Area (KKP) in Lumapas, the Seolhyang strawberries are grown in a cooling house, a greenhouse equipped with a cooling system from South Korea used to regulate temperature suited for the temperate fruit – 15 degrees according to Choi.
Each greenhouse can hold about 2,000 strawberry plants with an output capacity of one and a half to two tonnes of Seolhyang strawberries per harvest. In a year, the fruit can be harvested up to three times.
Aiming to meet the retail price of strawberries that are currently sold in the market, Berry Good wants to provide consumers a premium option at an affordable rate, already setting its sights on future expansion with 10 greenhouses planned to meet future market demands.
“At the moment, even though our strawberries are not out in the market yet, we are trying to promote our business to show people what we do and give a feel of the agricultural opportunities that can be had in Brunei,” said Choi.
The Bruneian | BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN