Brunei's locally grown rice now in supermarkets

A new variety of locally produced rice called MRQ76 is now sold at a number of local supermarkets, said the minister of industry and primary resources.

Selling at $12.50 for a 10kg bag, MRQ76 has been tested under a padi planting research project conducted by the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood (DAA) and Institut Penyelidikan dan Kemajuan Pertanian Malaysia (MARDI).

DAA along with the Ministry of Industry and Primary Resources' (MIPR) Primary Resources Development and Research Centre have been conducting the evaluation of the variety's production and sensory tests since 2013.

"The MRQ76 variety was declared in Malaysia in 2012 to be of a high quality variety that was chosen based on its rice qualities specifically its aroma, softness, and slightly sticky texture that is in line with the demands of the local Brunei Darussalam market," the ministry said.

"Results from the sensory found that the MRQ76 variety matched the quality of the Laila rice variety and Beras Wangi rice imported from Thailand, or Hom Mali."

MIPR also said MRQ76 has shown a potential to produce high yields and good resistance against diseases.

"The variety has a high potential to be developed whereby entrepreneurs can achieve an average yield of four metric tonnes per hectare - with good farm practices, a target of approximately five metric tonnes per hectare may also be achieved on Brunei soil," the ministry said.

"This not only can reduce the profit losses of the entrepreneurs but can also save their cost of production. Hence with the cultivation of this variety, incidents of disease invasions can be reduced," it said.

MRQ76 cultivation, which is limited to a few farms, continues to be under research for its suitability to padi entrepreneurs, the ministry said.