Some of the cattle at the Hussyn Rahman abattoir. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman 

Hussyn Rahman, one of the pioneering halal slaughter abattoirs in the sultanate, continues to strive in the ever-changing livestock industry, serving the local market with the finest quality of red meat from among the best animals imported into the country.

The Bengkurong Masin-based establishment was founded in 1998 by the late owner Hj Abdul Rahman Hj Hussin whose business is now passed down to his children and grandchildren – three generations running a family business.

“Our late grandfather saw an opportunity in agriculture back then. He has the passion for it and it is indeed a good business,” said Hussyn Rahman’s Head of Operations Hj Disdy Husdyman Shah Hj Md Hussin.

Hj Disdy Hsdyman Shah Hj Mr Hussin, Head of Operations at Hussyn Ranman. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman 

How well is the cattle, buffalo and goat trading one may wonder? Based on a report from the Agriculture and Agrifood Statistics in 2017, the summary of the beef industry in Brunei for both buffalo and cattle showed a total of $28.4 million retail value for slaughtered imported alive livestock.

For Hussyn Rahman, it had and still has its fair share in the market, making it as one of the respectable and longest serving slaughterhouses.

“Most of our customers are from supermarkets, wet market and individuals especially for korban and aqiqah services,” said Hj Disdy, adding that the company has been actively supplying animals for the annual Hari Raya Aidiladha.

Some of the Buffaloes at the Hussyn Rahman abattoir. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman 

In the recent festive season, the abattoir has slaughtered 42 cattle, 15 buffaloes and 30 sheep/goats. It brought in alive animals for slaughter from neighbouring countries which breed includes Cross Boer Goat, Cross Saneen, Doper Sheep, Brahman Steer and Austrian Fleckvieh.

On average, the price ranges from $490 to $600 per head and specially for the korban and aqiqah services, Hussyn Rahman offers a value for money package that includes slaughtering, boning and packaging for its clients.

A Cross Sanneen goat. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman 

Being a family-run business, works around the abbattoir during the celebration starting from slaughtering to packaging are done by Hj Disdy’s siblings.

“We have three Halal certified slaughterers and I am one of them with two others being my brothers. During times like this, we would gather most of our immediate family members to work in the slaughterhouse,” said the cheerful entrepreneur.

A bone saw is used to cut the difficult areas of the carcass

He added: “It runs in the family, I guess… I remember going to the farm every afternoon when I was a kid and we watched our father and grandfather. We somehow enjoyed it.”

The abattoir is equipped with infrastructure that is well-designed for a standard slaughterhouse. It has a feedlot that can accommodate up to 1000 cattle and buffalo at one time and a separate pen for goats and sheep which can house about 500 heads.

Some of the sheep at the Hussyn Rahman abattoir. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman 

“Prior to slaughtering, we would feed the animals three times per day although they are eating non-stop because they have about four stomachs where each has a different function,” he said.

There must be an adequate supply of food, he added, to avoid the animals suffer from gastritis which can cause them to lose appetite and fall ill – not ideal for slaughter.

Moreover, the company also ensures that the animals are feeding on the best grass which is the highly-nutrient Napier grass.

Seeing the great amount of grass is needed to feed for such livestock animals, Hj Disdy sees an opportunity to grow the grass himself.

Hussyn Rahman workers feeding livestock at Hussyn Rahman abattoir. Image: Ridhwan Kamarulzaman 

“To be sustainable, we saw that we can implement smart farming at our area where we produce our own food to feed our livestock and also sell (the Napier grass) to other stakeholders,” said the business management graduate.

Moreover, Hj Disdy said in the livestock industry, it is crucial to have a robust network between suppliers, customers and other farmers.

“… ensuring that we would have sufficient food supply for the livestock, sharing of knowledge and ideas with one another for the growth and development of this industry is crucial,” he said, adding that he sees a bright future for agriculture and livestock industry in Brunei.

The team behind Hussyn Rahman. Image: Faza Suraj

The company’s head of operations aspires to diversify their products and services such as breeding goats and sheep.

“We are also keen to venture into the food industry such as in frozen products like sausages, burger patties and meatballs,” he concluded.

This article was first published on August 03, 2019 in our Weekly E-Paper issue 50

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN |The Bruneian