Farmers’ turn to reap aid from anti-poverty project

UNDERPRIVILEGED farmers of Kampung Bukit in the interior of Tutong District will soon get a helping hand from the Student Community Outreach Team (Scot) of Universiti Brunei Darussalam through its continuing efforts to alleviate poverty.

However, the assistance will not be for free as farmers will have to pay by working hard to reap the benefits.

Scot President Md Anwar Hj Mohammad explained to The Brunei Times that the projects’ methods of assistance is to tackle poverty at its source rather than provide temporary comfort through donations.

“It’s not that money is coming from welfare, they (farmers) are working for (the benefits), and that is how it can sustain itself.”

This will be Scot’s third project to address poverty in the Sultanate. This project aims to assist families from low-income background whose main livelihood is agriculture.

The new project, which is still in its pilot phase and has yet to be officially launched, will provide support to farmers mainly in the form of equipment and seeds.

The project, which will be carried out with the Department of Agriculture and Agrifood, will also offer technical and educational assistance such as effective methods of farming and the suitability of vegetables or crops according to soil fertility.

It is expected to raise the farmer’s revenue in the long run by first “providing them the capital,” saidMd Anwar.

“We give them capital to start farming (activities), then from the surplus of output they generate some income. So we hope in a year’s time they can support themselves through this.”

Before officially launching the project, Md Anwar said studies need to be conducted first to understand the situation better, and therefore to offer more effective assistance.

“Once the results come out, then we will launch it,” he said, adding that it may take a few months.

For the pilot study, Scot is focusing on three families, however when the project is launched they will be targeting six to eight families in Kampung Bukit, Tutong for the whole year.


Source: The Brunei Times
Author: Adam Radhi
Published Date: 10 October 2011

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