Bandar Seri Begawan - Brunei's once-thriving Citrus Industry in Labi, Kuala Belait has been significantly difficult to revive after an epidemic, blamed on irresponsible individuals, destroyed the agricultural products.
Speaking at the 9th Legislative Council meeting, the Minister of Industry and Primary Resources explained that a contamination, believed to have been caused by other plant life smuggled into the country without undergoing proper quarantine procedures, `destroyed' the citrus products.
"The contamination has spread and destroyed the fields of citrus farmers. The industry is steadily declining," said YB Pehin Orang Kaya Seri Utama Data Seri Setia Awang Haji Yahya bin Begawan Mudim Dato Paduka Haji Bakar.
He explained that the Sultanate can no longer plant citrus trees without first eradicating the uncontrolled pathogen that has led to this years-long dilemma.
"The government is not the only party concerned. Members of the public also play a role in this matter and should refrain from importing or bringing in products that could potentially harm the environment."
The minister was responding to a question posed by YB Awg Haji Sulaiman bin Haji Ahad on the measures taken by the government to prevent such an issue.
He also explained that the Agriculture and Agrifood Department along with other units such as the Biosecurity and Agrifood Safety and the quarantine division have been delegated to identify the different types. of threats to both crops and livestock.--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin