17 February 2015
Can Brunei feed itself? Can Brunei’s Vision 2035 that was introduced in 2008 during the global food crisis stimulate its food and agricultural production?
One of the aims of Brunei’s Vision 2035 is to improve the Sultanate’s rice self-sufficiency rate to at least 60 per cent by 2015. Since the country needs no less than 35,000 tonnes of rice per year, it needs to secure domestic production of no less than 21,000 tonnes a year by 2015. Unfortunately, five years since the launch of Vision 2035, its total production in 2013 reached only 5.3% (1,850 tonnes). Therefore, it is very unlikely for the country to achieve its 2015 target. Can it achieve its goal of reaching 60% rice self-sufficiency in the long run?
Vision 2035 was drafted and launched in the middle of the food crisis in 2007/2008 when some of the exporting countries shut down their exports which triggered a rush towards food self-sufficiency among some importing countries including the Brunei Sultanate. The objective is to reduce dependency on rice imports. Brunei still enjoys over 90% of export earnings from the oil and gas sector. However, the recent collapse of oil price – which reached its lowest point at the end of 2014 – may strongly justify the Sultanate’s statement in 2008: “The attitude of completely relying on dollars to fill stomachs is no longer relevant with the emergence of this crisis.”
…Jonatan Anderias Lassa is a research fellow at the Centre for Non-Traditional Security (NTS) Studies, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University.
NTS Centre / Online
Last updated on 01/12/2015